‘All sorts of illegal actions by CIA’: Assange blasts Pompeo for ‘pre-emptive attack’ on WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has again hit back at CIA director Mike Pompeo, accusing him of attacking WikiLeaks for “publicity” reasons and alleging that recent leaked documents show "all sorts of illegal actions by the CIA.”
Speaking on ‘The Intercepted’ podcast with Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange responded to Pompeo, who described the whistleblowing group as a “hostile non-state intelligence agency.”
Pompeo made the remarks last week at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event. He called Assange and his associates “demons” and said “he and his ilk make common cause with dictators.”
Assange responded in comprehensive fashion in the podcast, accusing Pompeo of attacking him "to get ahead of the publicity curve.”
"In fact, the reason Pompeo is launching this attack is because he understands we are exposing in this series all sorts of illegal actions by the CIA, so he’s trying to get ahead of the publicity curve and create a preemptive defense," Assange said.
This is the second time in less than a week that Assange has taken aim at Pompeo over the WikiLeaks remarks. On April 14, the WikiLeaks founder tweeted: “Called a ‘non-state intelligence service’ today by the ‘state non-intelligence agency’ which produced Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran & Pinochet.”
The interview touched on a range of different topics including allegations that Assange had a personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton and aggressively targeted her during the 2016 US presidential election. He refuted the claims and revealed that he has never met Hillary Clinton but speculated that he would have liked her personality if he did.
“I think I’d probably like her in person,” he said “Most good politicians are quite charismatic in person. In some ways she’s a bit like me, She’s a bit wonkish and a bit awkward. So maybe we’d get along.”
Assange was also questioned on the details surrounding the publication of internal Democratic Party emails from the account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta during the campaign. He reaffirmed the stance that he does not believe that WikiLeaks were given the documents by the Russian government and also said it would have published Republican National Committee emails if it had received them.
“Just imagine if WikiLeaks had obtained information that it knew was true about the Democratic party and corruption of the primary process, and it decided that it was not going to publish that information, but suppress it, it would be completely unconscionable,” he said. “We specialize in really big scoops. You can’t go, ‘Oh, we have this massive scoop about corruption in the DNC. Now we need to balance this with a massive scoop about corruption in the RNC.’ These things come along once every few years.”