WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims in an interview airing Tuesday that the Obama White House is “trying to delegitimize” Donald Trump’s administration by claiming that the Russian government hacked Democrats’ emails during the election.
Assange, who was interviewed at the Ecuadorian embassy in London by Fox News’ Sean Hannity, also reiterated his claim that the Kremlin was not the source of hacked emails published by WikiLeaks.
During the months leading up to the election, WikiLeaks published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The Obama administration has insisted that it has strong enough evidence to conclude that Russian intelligence services orchestrated the cyber attacks, which began in late-2015.
But Assange told Hannity “with a thousand percent” confidence that the Russian government was not WikiLeaks’ source for the emails.
“We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,” Assange told Hannity, who traveled to London to interview the exiled Australian national in person.
A transcript of the interview provided by Fox News does not show whether Hannity asked Assange additional questions about the original hackers, such as whether he believes that WikiLeaks’ source is also the hacker or whether they were working as a middleman for another entity.
Assange usually refuses to discuss sources of his group’s material, but he has said he has made an exception in the case of the DNC and Podesta emails because of the vigorousness of the debate over the identity of the hackers.
Why has the Obama administration responded so strongly to the hacks, Hannity asked Assange.
“Our publications had wide uptake by the American people, they’re all true,” Assange said. “But that’s not the allegation that’s being presented by the Obama White House. So, why such a dramatic response? Well, the reason is obvious. They’re trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House. They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate President.”
Hannity also asked Assange whether WikiLeaks’ publication of emails changed the outcome of the election.
“Who knows, it’s impossible to tell,” Assange replied. “But if it did, the accusation is that the true statements of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, and the DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, their true statements is what changed the election.”