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Iran Press TV

Trump offered Assange pardon to cover up Russia alleged hacking

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 8:54 PM

US President Donald Trump sent someone to the Ecuadorian embassy to tell Julian Assange that he would be pardoned if he denied that Russia leaked emails of his 2016 election rival's campaign, says the lawyer of the WikiLeaks founder.

Jennifer Robinson said in a document released Wednesday that Trump relayed the offer through former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, an allegations immediately denied by the White House.

"The president barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he's an ex-congressman. He's never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject. It is a complete fabrication and a total lie," Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. "This is probably another never-ending hoax and total lie."

According to Robinson, Rohrabacher had allegedly said in a statement that "on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange... said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks."

Both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have denied that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. WikiLeaks has been accused of releasing damaging emails stolen from Democrats by Russian spies.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump said during a joint press appearance with Putin during their July 2018 summit in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

Assange is currently in London, battling a court extradition to the United States over unrelated charges.

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