Affirming that Russia was not the source of Democratic Party documents released by WikiLeaks, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has dismissed the White House’s cry over Russian hacking as pure politics.
Assange’s comments came in an exclusive interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. The interview will air Tuesday night on Fox’s Hannity.
During 2016, WikiLeaks published documents from the Democratic National Committee and from the email account of John Podesta, the chairman of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign. A report released by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security alleged that Russian-based hackers accessed political organizations in 2015 and 2016, and that the information obtained in 2016 was later released to the public.
The Obama administration responded to the Russian hacking episode by booting Russian officials and imposing sanctions against Russian intelligence agencies and their partners.
Assange said the response is nothing more than part of President Barack Obama’s vendetta against President-elect Donald Trump.
“Our publications had wide uptake by the American people, they’re all true. But that’s not the allegation that’s being presented by the Obama White House. So, why such a dramatic response? Well, the reason is obvious. They’re trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House. They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate President,” he said.
During the interview, Assange insisted again that Russia did not give documents to WikiLeaks.
“We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,” he said.
He noted that U.S. intelligence agencies have never said WikiLeaks received its information from Russia.
” … if we look at our most recent statement from the US government, which is on the 29th of December, OK, we had five different branches of government, Treasury, DHS, FBI, White House presenting their accusations to underpin Obama’s throwing out 29 Russian diplomats. What was missing from all of those statements? The word WikiLeaks. It’s very strange,” he said.
When Hannity asked Assange about Obama’s statements that Russia was involved in the 2016 president election, Assange noted that Obama never exactly says what Russia did with the information it allegedly received.
Obama is “acting like a lawyer,” Assange said. “If you look at most of his statements, he doesn’t say that. He doesn’t say that WikiLeaks obtained its information from Russia, worked with Russia …”
Assange said the content of the documents WikiLeaks released is what matters, not where it came from.
“Did it (WikiLeaks) change the outcome of the election? Who knows, it’s impossible to tell. But if it did, the accusation is that the true statements of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, and the DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, their true statements is what changed the election,” he said.
The emails released by WikiLeaks disclosed that Wasserman Schultz had favored Clinton over Democratic presidential challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
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