President-elect Donald Trump’s doubts about Russia hacking became even more vocal today after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s hour-long Fox News interview, noting that officials have delayed his “intelligence briefing” on the allegation until Friday, which he believes is a sign they’re trying to dig up more evidence.
Trump cited Assange’s comments that “a 14-year-old could have hacked Podesta,” and Assange’s assurance that Russia was not his source, adding that he believed the DNC was “careless” in the lead up to the hacks.
A number of Senate hawks issued statements condemning Assange and warning against believing anything he says, despite a long history of WikiLeaks being accurate, with Sen. Tom Cotton saying it was a matter of “faith,” and that he has more faith in US spies than Assange.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) warned Americans shouldn’t be “duped” by anything Assange says, insisting he is “no friend to America or democracy,” and has a record of “undermining the United States” with his leaks. This was a rare point of concurrence between Senate hawks and the outgoing White House, who accused Trump of “siding with Russia” over the US intelligence community by not accepting their accusations.
Assange noted in the interview that during WikiLeaks’ history there has never been a sustained accusation that anything they leaked was not accurate, noting that there is similarly no real claim that the leaked emails were not “factual information.”
Assange maintains that his source was not any state actor, though WikiLeaks does not disclose its actual sources. Assange added that even disclosing that the source was not Russia, nor any other state, was more information than the group prefers to offer on sources, but that they felt obliged to do so in an attempt to try to keep the focus on the leaks themselves, and not on distractions about Russia.
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