An executive at the now defunct Cambridge Analytica met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last year at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to talk about the U.S. presidential election.
Brittany Kaiser, a director at the data analytics company, told friends she visited Assange on February 17, 2017, and also had donated cryptocurrency to the whistleblower site, the Guardian reported.
Assange reportedly spurned the advances of Cambridge Analytica's CEO at the time, Alexander Nix, refusing the company's help in indexing and distributing 33,000 emails missing from the Clinton trove and believed to have been purloined, presumably by Russian operatives, from Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Last fall, Assange verified the contact by Nix, noting he rebuffed the offer. “We can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks,” he said.
While the hack of the missing 30,000 emails has never been confirmed, they were hotly debated during the 2016 presidential campaign with then-candidate Donald Trump famously saying, “Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
During the course of the presidential race, WikiLeaks released a steady stream of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democrat operatives like former Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta.
Investigators in the Russian probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked witnesses if President Donald Trump knew that emails were stolen from Democrat entities by Russians and were going to be leaked by WikiLeaks prior to their publication.
Mueller's team is particularly interested in Trump's call in July 2016 for Russia to find the 30,000 emails missing from opponent Hillary Clinton's private email server, a topic that had dominated much of the election cycle, according to a report by NBC News.
“Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said a few days after WikiLeaks began dribbling out emails stolen in the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later said the president was joking.