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Trump backs WikiLeaks’ Assange, mocks U.S. intelligence community

Trump appears to have sided with WikiLeaks over U.S. intelligence.

 

Andrew Couts

Tech

Published Jan 4, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 6:46 am CDT

President-elect Donald Trump appears to think WikiLeaks‘ founder Julian Assange is right on the money. The U.S. intelligence community? Not so much.

In a series of tweets posted Wednesday morning, Trump repeated Assange’s assertion that neither Russia’s government nor any other state actor provided WikiLeaks with emails stolen from the Democratic Party or Democratic operatives. 

Assange appeared in an hour-long interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.

Trump’s tweet comes just hours after the incoming president of the United States mocked the U.S. intelligence community—which believes that Russian government-led hackers breached the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta—for allegedly delaying a briefing with Trump on the matter.

Trump has consistently questioned Russia’s alleged involvement in the cyberattacks and subsequent leaks of tens of thousands of emails. 

Soon after Trump’s tweet about the intelligence briefing, NBC News reporter Peter Alexander reported that senior U.S. intelligence officials said the briefing was always scheduled for Friday, not earlier in the week as Trump’s tweet claims.

Assange has consistently claimed that Russian government operatives are not WikiLeaks source for the stolen Democratic emails. However, it remains unclear how WikiLeaks obtained the documents or if WikiLeaks’ source could have obtained the documents from the Russian government. Assange has also not denied Russia’s alleged involvement in hacking the Democrats. WikiLeaks has not responded to the Daily Dot’s requests for clarification on these details. 

In later tweets, Trump repeated the claims of some U.S. officials who say the Republican National Committee avoided the same fate as its Democratic counterpart by employing better security measures.

Trump won the election on Nov. 8. He will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20.

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*First Published: Jan 4, 2017, 9:41 am CST