Gingrich: If You Value the Safety and Security of America, Assange Is a 'Villain'
US charges WikiLeaks chief with conspiracy.
Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said Julian Assange should be viewed as a villain by anyone who believes in the safety and security of the United States.
The WikiLeaks founder was charged Thursday with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for aiding Chelsea Manning in the cracking of a password to a classified U.S. government computer in 2010, the U.S. Justice Department announced hours after Assange's arrest in London.
Assange faces a maximum of five years in prison if he’s convicted of the charge.
Earlier Thursday, Assange was carried out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in the arms of British police, who arrested him in a dramatic scene that ended Assange's nearly seven-year stay at the embassy.
"I think it’s a very good thing that the United States government is communicating that it may take a while to get to you, but if you violate our secrets, if you endanger our national security, if you put the country at risk, we're going to come after you until we get you," Gingrich said on "Fox & Friends" Thursday.
"Nobody has the right to leak secrets that could endanger lives and, in fact, could endanger the whole country," he added.
He said that WikiLeaks' controversial publication of U.S. diplomatic and military secrets during the Iraq War did extensive damage, such as exposing intelligence assets and offending allies.
"This is not a game, this is not somebody’s right to go off on their own. At the heart of civilization has to be a set of rules and some kind of accountability," Gingrich said.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, on the other hand, had a different take, calling Assange a "hero." Watch him explain below.