In an interview with Sean Hannity scheduled to air Tuesday night, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange again refuted the claim the source of the leaks was the Russian government. The anti-secrecy group released thousands of emails and documents containing politically damaging information from Democratic officials, which exposed corruption in the party and Big Media establishments.
“Our source is not the Russian government,” he said, adding that it was not a “state party” actor, either.
WikiLeaks first released nearly 20,000 emails ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia exposing how the party worked for Hillary Clinton and actively against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic nomination contest. The leaks also revealed corrupt journalists at Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC News and CNN. Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as DNC chairwoman amid the scandal.
She was replaced with Donna Brazile, who emails later showed had on multiple occasions provided the Clinton campaign with debate questions while working at CNN before the events.
During the general election, WikiLeaks published scores of emails and transcripts sent to and from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The documents, which included Mrs. Clinton’s Wall Street speech transcripts, exposed further Big Media corruption and were extremely politically damaging to the former secretary of state. They showed a candidate that said one thing behind closed doors to big donors regarding trade, immigration and other issues, and another on the campaign trail.
Rather than firing any of these journalists, many of them have been assigned to cover the new Trump administration when the president-elect takes the oath of office in a few weeks.
The interview comes as President Barack Obama last week expelled 35 Russian intelligence officials and sanctioned two agencies who he claims were involved in hacking Democratic groups. Mr. Obama, who in early Nov. first took the position there was no evidence indicating Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election, has been under pressure from within both political parties to respond to the alleged cyber attacks.
But Mr. Assange has repeatedly claimed that the source of the leaks was just that, a leak, and not a hack. He also said the “Russians are Coming” narrative in an effort to delegitimize President-elect Donald J. Trump. At one point during the election, Mr. Assange seemed to suggest Seth Rich, a DNC staffer murdered by a shot to the back in D.C., had been the source of at least the DNC leak.
The official police report claimed Rich was the victim of a robbery, though the perpetrators failed to take any of his personal items, i.e. wallet, phone etc. Mr. Assange offered a substantial reward to anyone who had information on his murder.
The cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate the hack of its emails earlier this year claims the hacking came from the Fancy Bear group, which is believed to be affiliated with the GRU. However, the U.S. government has stopped short of confirming these specific findings even as they level the charges against Russia.