Trump backs Assange on Russian hacking claims, blasts DNC ‘carelessness’
President-elect Donald Trump has supported WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s assertions that the Russian government was not the source of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Trump also blasted the political organization for its “carelessness” around its tech security when responding on Twitter Wednesday to an exclusive Fox interview with Assange.
Assange told Fox host Sean Hannity that neither the Russian government nor a state party were the source of the hacked emails.
Trump posted a number of tweets commenting on the interview, pointing out that Assange has once again said that Russia did not leak the DNC information. The president-elect then went on to question the DNC’s technical defenses and criticized the “dishonest” media.
Julian Assange said "a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta" - why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
Somebody hacked the DNC but why did they not have "hacking defense" like the RNC has and why have they not responded to the terrible......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
things they did and said (like giving the questions to the debate to H). A total double standard! Media, as usual, gave them a pass.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
The Republican’s statements were slammed by many online, who questioned why Trump was accepting the word of a whistleblower taking asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over a rape accusation.
@realDonaldTrump So you’re getting your intelligence briefings from Julian Assange. Right-O Donald.— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) January 4, 2017
@realDonaldTrump Forget about what US intelligence service think, because whatever a Swede holed up in an embassy says must be true, right?— Christoph Rehage (@crehage) January 4, 2017
@realDonaldTrump so you believe Julian Assange over the us intelligence services?— Danny Blanchflower (@D_Blanchflower) January 4, 2017
If Julian Assange & Trump are sure the hacker was a 400lb 14 yr old who's 1000% NOT Russian, was it THIS guy? pic.twitter.com/eWmoB09Xe7— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 4, 2017
Former Alaska governor and GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin expressed her apologies to Assange on social media following the broadcast and thanked him for “exposing the truth” about the Left.
To Julian Assange: I apologize.— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) January 4, 2017
Please watch Sean Hannity's interview with Julian Assange (Wikileaks).... https://t.co/UZpt4MMX2J
“I apologize for condemning Assange when he published my infamous (and proven noncontroversial, relatively boring) emails years ago,” she wrote on Facebook.
In 2010 Palin branded the Australian whistleblower “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” and said he should be hunted down in the way Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders are pursued.
Palin ended the post by encouraging people to watch Oliver Stone’s recent movie about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: “That movie and Hannity's interview tonight are quite enlightening.”
Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Mike Pence told Republican congressional leaders Wednesday that Trump has expressed his “very sincere and healthy American skepticism about intelligence conclusions.”
“Given some of the intelligence failures of recent years,” Trump has "made clear he is skeptical about their conclusions,” Pence said.
Trump, who will be inaugurated the 45th President of the United States on January 20, had earlier tweeted that an intelligence briefing he was due to have on the “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday.
The "Intelligence" briefing on so-called "Russian hacking" was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
While the director of US national intelligence declined to comment on the claim, senior administration officials said no meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
FBI Director James B Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R Clapper Jnr are reportedly due to meet Trump in New York on Friday to brief him about their findings in relation to Russia’s alleged role in the US election.