Assange in 'Hannity' Exclusive: Russian Gov't Was Not Source for Hacked Emails

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WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange discussed his organization's release of hundreds of pages of emails involving Hillary Clinton, her campaign chairman John Podesta and other individuals.

Hannity flew to London to visit Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy where the Australian native said he has sought asylum for more than four years from allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden, noting that he has not been charged with any crime.


Assange: Our Source Was Not Russia

Regarding the emails WikiLeaks published, Assange said his source was not the Russian government or any other "state party."

He said it was evident from a December 29, 2016 federal statement that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper does not know how WikiLeaks obtained the emails.

"Five different [parts] of the [US] government present[ed] their accusations to underpin Obama's throwing out 35 Russian diplomats... Missing from all those statements [is] the word WikiLeaks," he said.

My interpretation is that there's a problem with producing evidence as far as Wikileaks is concerned, he said.

"We can say and we have said repeatedly: our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party," Assange said


In Their Own Words:

Assange also reacted to the claim that his group influenced the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

He said that WikiLeaks is only guilty of publishing true information, as well as the words of Clinton and Podesta themselves, for the American public to read.

"The public read the information and said 'we don't like these people' and voted accordingly."

He said that some have "conflated" his publishing of information with alleged hacking of American voting machines.

Assange noted that even President Obama has denied that polling places were subjected to such hacks.

He said the only person in the world that knows exactly how WikiLeaks operates is himself.


A Secret Meeting?

Hannity also asked Assange about a report that the source of some of the published information was a participant in a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University in Washington, D.C., where a "disgruntled Democrat" offered information to another party.

The person involved was reportedly upset at how Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had been treated during the Democratic primary.

Assange said he had heard the report as well but maintained that WikiLeaks is a "source-protection organization."


Assange: 'Something a 14-Year-Old Kid Could've Hacked'

Assange said WikiLeaks published several emails from Podesta's account that show the campaign chairman responding to a phishing email-- a message in which he was asked to provide a password for an account.

Podesta's staff said the email in question was fully legitimate, Assange said, "Podesta gave out that his password was the word password."

"This is something a 14-year-old kid could've hacked."


Assange: Hillary Clinton Made 'Almost No Attempt' to Keep Sensitive Information Secure

Regarding the security of Clinton's private email server, Assange described how Clinton made "almost no attempt" to make her devices secure from foreign states.

He said she sent relevant items through the mail, and kept information on a server handled by a private company in Colorado.

Clinton set up the server to "evade" the Freedom of Information Act so she could use her secretary of state position to "engage in various political arrangements," Assange said.

Using an account not subject to FOIA kept all of the information transmitted from journalists and citizens, he said.


Assange: Obama 'Playing Games' By Accusing Russia of Working With WikiLeaks

President Obama is suggesting that Russia gave WikiLeaks hacked information, Hannity said.

Assange replied that Obama is "playing games" and "acting like a lawyer instead of being honest" when he chose to sanction Russia and expel diplomats from the United States.

Instead of retaliating, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will wait to deal with President-elect Donald Trump on the issue.

Assange said Obama's actions are meant to delegitimize Trump's election.


Assange: I Didn't Think Trump Would Win

During the interview, Hannity asked Assange how large of a role he felt WikiLeaks played in the election.

Assange responded by saying he didn't think Trump would win.

"I thought the establishment would see Hillary Clinton losing and pile in more money... and make sure that she won," he said.

He said donors' investment in Clinton's campaign was "proportional" to the degree the establishment thought she would lose.

Since many in her campaign thought she would win, she may have received less in donations than if she saw Trump as a sizeable threat.

"The line is that Wikileaks changed the result of the elections," Assange said, "We're quite happy to have the credit for exposing the corruption and behavior that was occurring in that Clinton team."

"My motivation has been to publish true information that is otherwise unsayable."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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