Republican Lawmakers Blast WikiLeaks Founder [VIDEO]

(Youtube screen grab)

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

Two prominent Republican lawmakers blasted Julian Assange on Wednesday, just as Donald Trump quoted the WikiLeaks founder criticizing the U.S. government’s investigation of Russian involvement in cyber attacks against Democrats.

“I have a lot more faith in our intelligence officers serving around the world and the very smart and experienced analysts that we have here in the nation’s capital than I do in people like Julian Assange, I can tell you that much,” Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said during an interview on MSNBC on Wednesday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan also slammed the WikiLeaks founder.

“I think the guy is a sycophant for Russia. He leaks, he steals data and compromises national security,” Ryan said on the “Hugh Hewitt Radio Show.”

The remarks come after Donald Trump caused a stir Tuesday night by questioning the intelligence gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies regarding whether the Russian government was behind cyber attacks against the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

Trump repeated Assange’s claim during a recent interview with Sean Hannity that a 14-year-old could have carried out the hacks. WikiLeaks published emails from the hacks, but Assange has insisted that the Russian government was not his direct source for the documents. (RELATED: Trump Questions Why Dems Weren’t Able To Stop Hacks)

But it’s clear that Cotton and Ryan do not take Assange at his word.

“Look, I don’t dispute the intelligence community’s assessment from October 7th that Russia or Russian associates were behind the attack on the DNC. I simply think that is to be expected from Russia,” Cotton said.

He then turned to criticizing the Obama administration for sitting on its hands regarding Russian aggression against the U.S.

“Barack Obama has not just been weak on Russia, but he has even tried to stop people like me and other Members of Congress from drawing a firmer line on them,” Cotton said. “That’s what we need to do with Russia: we need to draw a firmer line, we need to impose costs when they step over the line doing things like hacking into the DNC.”


During his interview, Ryan was asked whether Trump should be endorsing someone like Assange, who lives in exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

“I think he has not received his Russia briefing yet,” Ryan said of Trump. “I believe that’s scheduled for Friday. So, hopefully, he’ll get up to speed on what has been happening and what Russia has or has not done, and he’ll be better informed on that.”

Follow Chuck on Twitter