Julian Assange appeared in a surprise interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday and denied reports that claimed the Podesta and DNC emails were passed to WikiLeaks by the Russian government. Assange blasted U.S. media outlets and spoke out about the recent news regarding assessments of Russia being the source of the email leaks.
Hannity interviewed WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange on his nationally syndicated radio show, The Sean Hannity Show. Assange insisted the allegations of Russia being the source of WikiLeaks’ documents are a “foolish” and “dangerous” effort by Democrat’s to nullify Trump’s presidential win.
“Our source is not the Russian government.”
“So in other words, let me be clear… Russia did not give you the Podesta documents or anything from the DNC?”
“That’s correct,” Assange boldly responded to Hannity’s inquiry.
“Can you confirm whether you have hacked info from the RNC?” Hannity questioned.
In addition to the hacked emails from the DNC and Podesta, Assange admitted that WikiLeaks received a few pages of info pertaining to the RNC and Trump.
“… [WikiLeaks] received about three pages of information to do with the [Republican National Committee] and Trump [during the campaign], but it was already public somewhere else.”
Previously, Assange’s camp denied that the DNC and Podesta emails were derived from any government source. However, Assange held steadfast in refusing to identify the actual source responsible for the controversial email leak, according to Fox News.
“We’re unhappy that we felt that we needed to even say that it wasn’t a state party. Normally, we say nothing at all… We have… a strong interest in protecting our sources, and so we never say anything about them, never ruling anyone in or anyone out.
“And so here, in order to prevent a distraction attack against our publications, we’ve had to come out and say ‘no, it’s not a state party. Stop trying to distract in that way and pay attention to the content of the publication.'”
Assange’s assertion contradicts the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which concluded in October that “the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations.”
Donald Trump and his transition team have dismissed the consensus of the CIA assessment, which claimed Russian hackers have interfered with the U.S. Presidential election.
President Barack Obama ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to deliver all evidence from the Russian government allegedly used in cyber attacks and other means to interfere with the election, a senior administration official told NBC News. Trump has consistently disputed reports that Russian intelligence worked to help his presidential campaign.
Assange emphasized that any institution is vulnerable to a cyber attack, including U.S. government, corporations, and even private citizens, according to Fox News. Hannity gave Julian Assange an undeniably large platform to deny that the DNC and John Podesta email source was the Russian government. Hannity could barely contain his excitement to have Assange on the program, had teased the interview on Twitter earlier in the day as “his first interview in the states since the election.”
“Everything is almost completely insecure now… Computer systems have become so complex that it is not possible to understand all the parts, let alone secure them. It’s just impossible.”
“You’ve done us a favor,” Hannity said passionately.
Due to Assange’s and WikiLeaks’s work, Hannity noted, “we can now fix the problem” in regards to the gaps in cyber security in the U.S. Assange also “exposed the corruption in our government” for the public to see, according to the Daily Beast.
“I have so many questions for you,” Hannity said before reminding viewers at home of WikiLeaks’ perfect record.
“You have not been proven wrong, not one single time.”
Assange also said Craig Murray is not authorized to speak on behalf of the WikiLeaks organization.
Earlier in the week, it was reported that U.S. national security officials believe the hacking of such officials was carried out by Russia. In recent days, officials have pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin as being directly involved in the operation. On late Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that Russian hackers tried and failed to access the RNC using the same methods as the DNC hackers.
Trump made it clear that he doesn’t believe the Russian government interfered in the election. Donald was most recently on the cover of Time magazine and named “Person of the Year” in their current issue. President-elect Donald Trump previously told Time that he believes the U.S. government’s assessment is false.
“I don’t believe they interfered… That became a laughing point — not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.’
“It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”
When Trump was asked if he thought the CIA’s consensus was politically driven, Trump responded, “I think so.”
Retired General Michael Hayden was critical of Trump’s refusal to accept the consensus of the intelligence community. Hayden served as CIA director during the Bush administration, according to USA Today.
“To have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions. Wow… The data matters.”
Through Assange’s observations, he stated that the power possessed by journalists has greatly diminished in recent years. In the 2016 election, Assange characterized the press as a “paper tiger” and said the rise of new media had eroded the influence of traditional outlets.
“The old press is less important.”
Julian Assange took interest to a particular issue with the “liberal press” and blamed such journalists for a “degree of bias” that chased away readers.
“Readers see that. They feel it… They don’t like being lectured or told what to do. And they rebel against it.”
Julian spoke with Hannity’s radio show by phone from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange, who is Australian, has said he fears deportation to Sweden and the United States, where he could be charged for the publication of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables. According to the Wall Street Journal, Julian also believes if he is extradited to Sweden, he will then be extradited to the U.S., where he could face espionage charges due to leaking thousands of classified documents on the WikiLeaks website.
The WikiLeaks founder maintains that he has been robbed of his freedom for the last six years, according to the Guardian. The situation has also taken a toll on Assange’s physical well-being. Assange’s health deteriorated significantly since his confinement. He developed an arrhythmia, high blood pressure, chronic cough, and a Vitamin D deficiency, according to the Observer.
[Featured Image by Anthony Devlin/AP Images]