Assange slams ‘so-called intelligence report’ on Russian hacking
WikiLeaks head Julian Assange slammed Friday’s intelligence report on Russian hacking, saying during a Monday morning press conference that it lacks any supporting evidence.
“Most of this so-called intelligence report is not even fabricated. It does not make assertions that rise to the level of fabricated,” Assange said during the media event, streamed live via Periscope audio.
The public version of the U.S. report released Friday was scrubbed of classified information, leaving it light on new evidence that Russia orchestrated breaches of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other politically relevant targets amid the 2016 election.
WikiLeaks has long claimed that Russia did not provide it with emails published on its site, though Assange claims that the hacker or hackers known as Guccifer 2.0 — who released DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails to The Hill and other outlets — was not connected to WikiLeaks’ leaks, and may have been Russian. The report, however, claims Guccifer 2.0 and the WikiLeaks leaker are both Russian operations.
“The evidentiary weight is literally zero,” said Assange.
Assange’s claims that his site did not receive leaks from the Russian government have raised some concerns about its anonymity by design — the site is hypothetically supposed to make it impossible to determine who specific leakers are.
Assange, however, brushed off a question as to how it was possible to identify the leaker given the site’s design.
“We haven’t said whether we know or don’t know our sources. We have made one statement, and that the election material is not from a state party,” he said.
He later added that WikiLeaks would not be as defensive about protecting a source’s identity if it was known to be a state actor.
Asked directly if the there may have been a cut-out delivering WikiLeaks information originally received from the Russian government, Assange refused to answer.
“We can’t play 20 questions with our sources,” he said.
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