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During his presidential campaign, about a month before Election Day, Donald Trump famously declared, “I love WikiLeaks” after the organization dumped a bunch of harmful Hillary Clinton-related emails. But he’s been less in love with the site in recent months, saying he actually doesn’t back site founder Julian Assange.
On Monday CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who Trump plucked from the U.S. House of Representatives to take over the intelligence agency, had harsh words for WikiLeaks.
“It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” he said.
Pompeo said the site has done “great harm to our nation’s national security and they will continue to do so in the long term” and that RT, Russia’s propaganda media arm, has collaborated with WikiLeaks. He also called Assange a narcissist, fraud, and coward hiding behind a computer screen.
“I’m quite confident if Assange had been around in the 1930, the 40s, and the 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history,” Pompeo said. “We know this because Assange and his ilk made common cause with dictators today. Yes, they try unsuccessfully to cloak themselves and their actions in the language of liberty and privacy. But in reality, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their [currency] is clickbait. Their moral compass nonexistent.”
In January, Assange denied that Russia was the source for his leaks.
Here were Pompeo’s full comments Monday.
H/T the Hill
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.