Politics

Assange Disputes Congressman’s Story About Potential Deal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disputed California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s statements that Assange would give up the source behind a release of Democratic National Committee emails in 2016.

Assange’s tweeted his dispute Tuesday and Wednesday following a story from The Daily Caller about a potential deal between him and the American government.

Rohrabacher met with Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in August. The WikiLeaks founder has taken asylum there since 2012 due to since-dropped sexual assault charges in Sweden.

The California congressman told The Daily Caller in an August interview that Assange is willing to give the U.S. “proof of the source of the exposure of the … DNC emails.” Assange has long maintained he would never reveal a source, but the congressman told TheDC that the WikiLeaks founder “wants to get out of the Ecuadorian embassy.”

The U.S. intelligence community has maintained that Russia was involved with the DNC email leak. Assange denies the Kremlin was involved and Rohrabacher told TheDC the WikiLeaks founder would be able to prove this to the U.S.

Rohrabacher is attempting to broker a deal with the White House in which the U.S. would either preemptively pardon or agree not to prosecute Assange in exchange for his cooperation. The U.S. is reportedly investigating Assange for his role in disseminating thousands of classified documents.

“Disgraceful reporting. WikiLeaks never has and never will reveal a source. Offers have been made to me–not the other way around. I do not speak to the public through third parties,” Assange tweeted. This was in response to a Daily Caller article Tuesday about Rohrabacher meeting with Sen. Rand Paul to discuss letting President Donald Trump know about a potential deal with Assange. (RELATED: Rohrabacher, Rand Paul Met To Discuss Assange Giving Up WikiLeaks Source To US Government)

Assange also tweeted Tuesday: “I do not need other parities to relay communications to the White House or to the public. WikiLeaks has direct contact details for the senior figures of most countries, including the United States.”

“Assange has not disputed any of the many previous stories about this,” Ken Grubbs, a spokesman for Rohrabacher, told The Daily Caller. “We don’t know why he would dispute this one. We don’t know what his motives are now.”

Grubbs went on to tell TheDC that Rohrabacher still stands behind all of his comments.

Conservative journalist Charles Johnson was present at the August meeting with Assange, according to Rohrabacher, and Johnson told TheDC Thursday that Assange is likely “misunderstanding what’s going on.”

“[Assange] knows about the deal. We talked about the deal,” Johnson said. “He isn’t going to give up his source until he has some assurances and guarantees. And the source has to be protected and want to do it.”

WikiLeaks did not respond to a press inquiry.