Farage held secret meetings with Assange, US congressional probe told

  20 January 2018    Read: 705
Farage held secret meetings with Assange, US congressional probe told
Nigel Farage allegedly held several secret meetings with Julian Assange, a US congressional inquiry heard.
The pair met at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Mr Assange has been in residence for more than five years having been granted political asylum there.

It was alleged that at one of the meetings the former Ukip leader passed a “thumb drive” containing data to the WikiLeaks founder.

The claims were made by the co-founder of the investigative firm behind the controversial “Trump dossier”, a 32 page document produced in the run up to the presidential election which contained allegations linking the US leader to Russia.

It also contained unfounded claims that Mr Trump had been filmed with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. Attributed to unnamed sources, it also claimed that Mr Trump had colluded with Russian officials during the election campaign and alleged that Kremlin spies filmed Mr Trump with prostitutes at Moscow's Ritz-Carlton hotel in 2013.

Glenn Simpson, the boss of company Fusion GPS, employed former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, to produce the dossier which was partially funded by the Democrats and by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Speaking at the inquiry, he said: "I’ve been told and have not confirmed that Nigel Farage had additional trips to the Ecuadoran Embassy than the one that’s been in the papers and that he provided data to Julian Assange."

He added: “I have formed my own opinions... that there was a somewhat unacknowledged relationship between the Trump people and the Ukip people and that the path to WikiLeaks ran through that. And I still think that today."

He appeared to contradict what he said during his appearance before the committee in November.

Then he said his interest in the Trump campaign's links to Ukip and WikiLeaks were separate from Mr Steele's investigations.

In a brief, one-line statement, Mr Farage said: "This is conspiratorial nonsense."

WikiLeaks has previously been accused by Hillary Clinton of acting as a "fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence" after it published damaging emails, allegedly stolen by Russian operatives, during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

Mr Farage campaigned openly for Mr Trump in the election and was one of the first visitors to meet him in Trump Tower following his victory.

Mr Trump responded by suggesting that Mr Farage should be appointed UK ambassador to the US - much to the consternation of British diplomats.

The original article was published in the Independent.

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