Trump-Russia inquiry is told Nigel Farage may have given Julian Assange data

Private investigator tells House panel Farage gave thumb drive to Assange, who officials view as a conduit for the Russian government

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now an Ecuadorian citizen

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is stateless no more. On Thursday, Ecuador revealed that it had extended citizenship to Assange, a controversial figure who moved into London’s Ecuadorian embassy to evade extradition to Sweden back in 2012. Assange alluded to the citizenship status with a Twitter post depicting him in an Ecuadorian football jersey.

Sweden has since abandoned it intended to bring Assange back to the country to face accusations related to sexual assault. Still, Assange remained in the Ecuadorian embassy for fear of being extradited to the United States for his role in releasing classified U.S. intelligence and military documentation, including a video that depicted U.S. troops gunning down a number of non-combatants in Baghdad, including two Reuters journalists and children.

At the time of his work with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, many viewed Assange as a champion of government transparency, though his legacy now is considerably more mixed. Since that time, Assange has taken to openly peddling widely debunked conspiracy hypothesis and lashing out at journalists who revealed that WikiLeaks disguised documents that depicted massive pays between Syria and Russia.

Assange’s newfound citizenship has again escalated tensions with Britain, though it’s likely that he’ll leverage the status to make a move out of the Ecuadorian embassy once and for all.

Make sure to visit:

Julian Assange is made an Ecuadorian citizen in effort to resolve impasse

Ecuadors foreign minister discloses to reporters in Quito that Wikileaks founder was awarded citizenship a month ago

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen last month, the nation’s foreign ministry has disclosed, in an attempt to resolve the political impasse over his continued presence in the UK.

The 46 -year-old has been naturalised after living for five and a half years in the cramped, Latin American country’s embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.

Earlier this week the UK’s Foreign Office revealed that Ecuador had asked for Assange, who was born in Australia, to be accredited as foreign diplomats. The petition was dismissed.

The Ecuadorian initiative was intended to confer legal immunity on Assange, letting him to slip out of the embassy and Britain without being arrested for violating his former bail conditions.

Julian Assange posted this picture of himself in an Ecuadorian football shirt on Twitter. Photograph: Twitter

Assange failed to surrender to the UK authorities in 2012 after the supreme court rejected his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face accusations of sexual crimes, including rape. He was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Swedish attorneys last year unexpectedly dropped their investigation into allegations against him, which he denied. WikiLeaks, however, were afraid that the US will seek his extradition if he leaves the embassy, believing there is a sealed US indictment trying his arrest.

At a press conference on Thursday in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, the foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, explained that Assange had sought citizenship and that it had been granted on 12 December last year.

” The Ecuadorian government is empowered to grant nationality to the protected person and thus facilitate … his inclusion in the host country ,” Espinosa told reporters.

Assange’s life could be under threat from other states, she cautioned, adding that she was seeking a” dignified and merely” solution to his situation with Britain.

On Wednesday evening, the UK Foreign Office put out a statement explaining that:” The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request , nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice .”

At the same time Assange appeared on his Twitter account for the first time wearing an Ecuadorian national football shirt.

A statement by Assange’s legal team said:” The UN ruling, issued almost two years ago, is crystal clear in the original language.[ He] is unlawfully and arbitrarily detained by the UK authorities and must be released. The UK should not permit itself to be intimidated by the Trump administration’s public threats to’ take down’ Mr Assange .”

Make sure to visit:

Data firm that worked for Trump asked WikiLeaks to share hacked emails

Cambridge Analytica executive confirms firm asked Assange to share hacked emails related to Clinton reportedly around period it started working for Trump

The chief executive of Cambridge Analytica has confirmed that the UK data research firm contacted Julian Assange to ask WikiLeaks to share hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton at about the time it started working for the Trump campaign in summer 2016.

Speaking at a digital conference in Lisbon, Alexander Nix said he had read a newspaper report about WikiLeaks’ menace to publish a trove of hacked Democratic party emails, and said he asked his aides to approach Assange in early June 2016 to ask” if he might share that datum with us”, according to remarks published by the Wall street Journal .

Assange, WikiLeaks’s founder, has already acknowledged the approach by Cambridge Analytica and said WikiLeaks repudiated any such requests. In Lisbon, Nix reportedly agreed that the overture had been rebuffed.

” We received a message back from them that he didn’t want to and wasn’t able to, and that was the end of the story ,” Nix said at the Web Summit conference, in agreement with the WSJ. He called the exchange” very benign “.

However, the contacts between Cambridge Analytica and WikiLeaks are of interest to investigators looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The documents published by WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016 were later determined by US intelligence agencies to have been stolen by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

According to the Journal, citing emails and unnamed sources, Cambridge Analytica had sent employees to the Trump digital campaign headquarters and was in the process of finalising a contract with the campaign in early June of last year, apparently around the time Nix said he made the approach to Assange. It is not suggested that Cambridge Analytica induced the approach at the Trump campaign’s petition. The Guardian has contacted Cambridge Analytica for commentary.

Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee looking into possible Trump-Moscow collusion has said the committee had a” deep interest” in the relationship between Cambridge Analytica and WikiLeaks.

In an interview at the Web Summit, Nix rejected any suggestion of collusion with Russia.

” We did not work with Russia in this election, and moreover we would never work with a third-party country performer in another country’s campaign ,” he said.

Robert Mercer, a Trump mega-donor, and his daughter, Rebekah, are major investors in Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon was a vice-president of the company before joining the Trump campaign and becoming the president’s chief strategist in the White House.

Cambridge Analytica’s website promises to help clients gain advantage over political opponents with its data analysts of US voter behaviour. It claims to hold up to 5,000 pieces of data on more than 230 million voters, to build a “psychographic” profile of targeted voters.

The company was hired to become part of the digital campaign, which was overseen by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and was paid $5.9 m, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Make sure to visit:

Roger Stone: Trump adviser denies Russia collusion during 2016 election

Political dirty trickster makes combative appearance before House intelligence committee: There is one trick that is not in my suitcase and that is treason

Roger Stone, a longstanding consultant to Donald Trump, made a combative appearance at a closed session of the House intelligence committee on Tuesday to repudiate allegations of collusion.

He told journalists later that his former business partner, Paul Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman, expected to be indicted soon. Stone said he expected Robert Mueller, the special counsel analyse links between the Trump campaign and Moscow, to “manufacture” a charge against Manafort in an attempt to force him to” bear false witness against the president “.

As for his own hearing, Stone said that nothing he was asked built him “uncomfortable” and that he had answered all the questions put him but one.

He refused to tell the committee the identity of a journalist who was his intermediary with the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange– and who Stone says was the source of his advance knowledge of what WikiLeaks was planning to publish during the campaign on the Democratic presidential competitor, Hillary Clinton, and a senior Democratic official, John Podesta.

The ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, confirmed that Stone had refused to answer one important question, though he declined to elaborate, adding that the committee would consider subpoenaing him if he did not return of his own accord.

Roger Stone speaks to the media after answering questions from the House intelligence committee. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/ EPA

Before his appearance, Stone made clear he would deny all allegations of collusion with Russia during the presidential election.

” While some may label me a dirty trickster, the members of this committee could not point to any tactic that is outside the accepted norms of what political strategists and consultants do today. I do not engage in any illegal activities on behalf of my clients or the causes in which I support ,” Stone said in a prepared statement.” There is one’ trick’ that is not in my container and that is treason .”

After the hearing, he dismissed the committee’s inquiry as a political witchhunt.

” It’s entirely a political exercising ,” he said.” They stimulate the charges against you in a public forum to maximize coverage for their Senate campaign or their re-election but then they are allow you to respond behind closed doors and they won’t even permit the release of the transcript. It truly puts you at an extraordinarily unjust[ dis] advantage .”

The intelligence committee discourages witnesses from making public statements about its hearings, but Stone clearly enjoyed his time in the spotlight, describing the attention of journalists to his clothes , noting:” English tailoring is always better than Italian tailor, at the least for my body shape .”

On the eve of his appearance, he told New York magazine:” I elected not to go with one of my gangster suits .”

He said his last appearance before Congress had been in 1973, when he was 19 and testified to the Senate Watergate committee about what he had done for the Nixon re-election campaign.

He admitted then to “trafficking in the black arts” of politics but denied doing anything illegal.

Sign up for the Minute email. Catch up on today’s US politics news in 60 seconds

Make sure to visit:

Chelsea Mannings story highlights the key issues of our time | Eugene Jarecki

In her eyes, those opposing others combats across modern society must recognise that their common enemy is fragmentation

For anyone living in the digital age who isn’t a luddite, modern news intake has basically changed. We have all to differing degrees become addicts- whether in pill sort( online journalism) or in the more easily digested liquid sort of late-night irony. Either way, our biorhythms seem increasingly shaped by the rise and fall of brief, often maddening news items that sweep across the digital commons.

” Now this will get Trump impeached !”” With this latest move, Theresa May’s Tories has actually been dissolved Parliament !”” How to prepare for a Nuclear Attack” Our clickbait-driven digital universe makes a race to the bottom among information providers, a constant bombardment of the subconsciou by headlines and coverage that spiraling toward extremism and momentary shock effect, desensitizing us and puzzling our collective will. Which is not to suggest that there aren’t things- grave things- to be concerned about. This presents a complicating feature for anyone was striving to plot a track through a world spiralling into uncertainty. For how can one maybe find the aplomb to build an effective fire station when constantly on the run putting out brush flames? The effect of such endless and fragmentary stimulations is to pique and then paralyse the conscience, never providing the big picture necessary for real change.” Enterprises of great pith and moment ,” Hamlet famously noted,” with this regard/ their currents turn awry/ And lose the name of action .”

It was with this in mind that I accepted an invitation to speak with former US army soldier Chelsea Manning at the Nantucket Project, a” festival of ideas” held on a holiday playground off the Massachusetts coast. In this same defining a few years ago, I interviewed Julian Assange as a hologram, to talk about the hidden dangers of the digital age. But today, Manning will appear in the flesh, her first appearance before a live audience since declaring her trans status to the world and having her 35 -year sentence commuted by President Obama.

Despite the retro glamour of her Vogue encompas last month, Manning is, above all, a quintessential contemporary both women and a dangerous one at that. Revered and vilified depending on who you talk to, she traverses several live wires in contemporary society, an inherent attack on today’s fragmentation. She’s like an obscure LP that straddles jazz, gospel, contemporary and heavy metal and doesn’t quite fit in any of the existing sections of the record store.

” I’m just me ,” she chuckles, tossing her fashionable bob. But she knows better. There are few people walking the planet who traverses as flammably and improbably the live wire of privacy, national security and, most recently, trans rights. Manning sees connections in the duty of the soldier who uncovers high crimes, to the death of secrecy in the digital age, to the role of the individual in a society where privacy is as besieged as sex orientation.

Just this week, Harvard University embarrassed itself when it announced and then clumsily recanted an invitation it had made to Ms. Manning to be a visiting fellow and speak at a forum. The Dean of the Kennedy School of Government, which induced the invite, fell on his sword over the affair, meekly offering that Ms. Manning’s controversial public persona was incompatible with the “honorofic” nature of such an invite.

The truth was that the University caved to pressure from the Trump Administration when CIA Director Mike Pompeo wrote a letter canceling his own speaking participation at the University, stating that his” conscience and duty” prohibited him from speaking at an institution that would honor an” American traitor .” After making the sweeping declaration that” Ms. Manning stands against everything the brave men and women I serve alongside stand for ,” Mr. Pompeo scrambled to politically correct himself.” Let me be clear ,” he protested( a bit too much ),” this has nothing to do with Ms. Manning’s identity as a transgender person .” No one had asked for this uncovering stammer, but it’s no amaze. So do the mighty- and any affectation of academic rigor or freedom of believed — quiver when the 29 -year old Ms. Manning enters the halls of power. No stranger to such dispute, she took it in stride, tweeting knowingly that she was ” honored to be 1st disinvited trans female visiting Harvard fellow. They chill marginalized voices under CIA pressure .” What Manning wants to express above all is that she wasn’t one person who became another. She didn’t blindly follow her soldier father into uniform and then suddenly turn against the system. She wasn’t a man who one day decided to be a woman. It’s a continuum, she says. When she leaked evidence of US military and government criminality to Wikileaks, she was seeking to advance human dignity against those who would undermine it. Likewise, when, behind the bars of a military brig, she declared her own gender status, she was doing the same.

Whatever the events of recent weeks tell us about the pace and severity of global warming, they seem a haunting commentary on the turbulence of today’s world. As unprecedented fires, earthquakes and winds took lives, destroyed communities and sent millions fleeing, the events at least for a moment interrupted the steady creek of manmade madness that typically predominates news. Even the anniversary of 9/11, usually a field day for the major news outlets, passed with less notice than ever.

To a guy with a hammer, everything looks like a fingernail. So in a week in which nature’s furies combined with my realisations about the fragmentation of online news, Manning seemed to provide a kind of antidote: intersectionality.” My cause is not the same as Daca[ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the programme that gives temporary protection to undocumented migrants who arrived in the US as children] or Black Lives Matter or women’s rights, or anything else, but I support those causes because it’s all connected .”

In her eyes, those fighting these and others combats across modern society must recognise that their common enemy is fragmentation , not only of information and news but of groups and causes which, divided one from another, cannot advance.

Eugene Jarecki’s latest cinema is Promised Land

Make sure to visit:

Julian Assange: I urged Trump Jr to publish Russia emails via WikiLeaks

Site founder says he believed chairwomen son should release documents anonymously, given that Trump Jrs enemies already had them

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, has claimed that he contacted Donald Trump Jr and tried to persuade him to publish emails indicating he was eager to accept sensitive information about Hillary Clinton via the anti-secrecy website.

Instead, the US chairpeople eldest son did so via Twitter, kindling a firestorm of criticism around his apparent willingness to work with the Russian government against his fathers Democratic rival.

Contacted Trump Jr this morning to the reasons why he should publish his emails( i.e with us ), tweeted Assange, who is based at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Two hours later, does it himself.

Asked by another Twitter user to explain, Assange elaborated: I argued that his adversaries have it so why not the public? His foes will just milk isolated phrases for weeks or months … with their own context, spin and according to their own strategic timetable. Better to be transparent and have the full context … but would have been safer for us to publish it anonymously sourced. By publishing it himself it is easier to submit as evidence.

It was not clear whether Assanges use of the word adversaries was the reference to the media or political rivals.

The Australian added: Hes surely had advice and/ or is confident on the facts. Id argue that even the completely innocent need @WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks played important roles in the US presidential election, publishing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee( DNC) and Clintons campaign manager, John Podesta.

As a candidate, Trump proclaimed: I love WikiLeaks! US intelligence agencies concluded that the hacking was carried out by Russia.

Trumps longtime confidante Roger Stone communicated with Assange and a hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, who began posting DNC documents on 15 June less than a week after Trump Jrs meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York.

WikiLeaks apparent overlap of interests with the Trump campaign depicted scrutiny at the time. Robert Mackey of the Intercept website wrote in August last year: The WikiLeaks Twitter feed has started to look more like the river of an opponent research firm working mainly to undermine Hillary Clinton than the updates of a non-partisan platform for whistleblowers.

Make sure to visit:

Britain wants a ‘way out’ of the Julian Assange standoff, says Ecuador

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, foreign minister, says UK and Ecuador working on an opening

Britain is interested in finding a solution to the stalemate that has led to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being holed up in Ecuadors London embassy for five years, the foreign minister of the South American country has said.

In May, Sweden dropped an investigation into rape accusations that led Assange, 45, to seek asylum in the embassy in 2012, but British police said he would still be arrested if he left the building.

The United Kingdom wants a way out, but plainly that is in the hands of the UK justice system, they have their procedures, their ways, the council of ministers, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, told reporters on Thursday. This opening has been there, and we are working on it.

A British court issued an apprehend warrant for Assange when he failed to surrender to the court on 29 June, 2012, and the Metropolitan Police Service is compelled to execute that warrant, the London police said in May.

Assange, who denies the rape accusations, dreads being handed over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks publication of thousands of categorized military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest datum leaks in US history.

Make sure to visit: