Assange blasts 'embarrassing' ODNI report, says 'no evidence' given
Assange answered questions submitted via #AskWL on Twitter for over an hour, which was streamed live via Periscope from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
He described the ODNI's report as containing "zero evidentiary weight" and being "deliberately political."
Asked about the source of the leaked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta Assange denied it was a state
"If our sources were a state we would have a lot less concern in attempting to protect them,” he said, adding that he would not provide additional information as this could lead to their identification.
"Take the data now, keep it under your bed or with your mother. You can give it to WikiLeaks,” Assange said, encouraging members of the Obama administration to prevent information being destroyed before he leaves office.
He denied that WikiLeaks posessed information from the Republican National Committee which they refused to publish, calling the claim "false."
Assange said he believed that whistleblowers would continue to be persecuted under Trump's administration, saying "No system of authority likes those who undermine their authority.”
The whistleblowing site has been accused of working with the Russian government to ensure Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections.
Both WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange have repeatedly denied the leaks came from state actors, with former UK ambassador and WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray stating the leak came from a “disgusted” whistleblower from within the Democratic establishment.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) unclassified findings report released Friday has drawn much criticism and mockery for its apparent lack of evidence and its substantial padding with outdated details about RT.
It claims Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a negative online campaign to influence the elections in a bid to facilitate a Trump victory, and that the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) then fed the information to WikiLeaks.
“We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks,” it read.
Among critics was former CIA analyst Larry C Johnson who described the report as a “farce” and a “charade," claiming Hillary Clinton was effective in discrediting herself, without needing the help of Russia.
“I don’t think they’re hiding anything because they don’t have anything,” Johnson told RT. “These are ‘or and how’ intelligence estimates as opposed to an intelligence analysis based on fact. There’s no fact underlying this. There are analytical assumptions.”
“You can tell that because whenever they use the language like ‘we assess that’ or ‘we believe that’ or ‘it’s likely that’,” he added. “That means they don’t know, because if you knew, you could say … in public ‘according to multiple sources we know that.’ You state facts.”
The report states the Russian government is behind the ‘DC Leaks’ website and Romanian hacker Guccifer 2.0, who released emails from the DNC and other Democrats.
While the report does state that Russians didn’t meddle with voter tallies to influence the results of the election, it claims that the Russian government smeared Clinton.
While the report states the CIA and FBI have “high confidence” the hacks were ordered to help Trump. The NSA, who deals in signals intelligence over human intelligence, have “moderate confidence.”
The report also cites Russian politicians celebrating Trump’s win as further evidence. It does not, however, draw the same conclusions about the Israeli government’s delight at Trump’s victory.