Julian Assange BLASTS US Report, Denies Russia Source

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From FOX News:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fired back Monday at the U.S. intel­li­gence commu­ni­ty for its report stating the anti-secrecy website was used by the Russian govern­ment to distrib­ute hacked infor­ma­tion from Democ­ra­t­ic figures during the run-up to the presi­den­tial election.

Assange, speak­ing during an audio-only Periscope Q&A session, said the source of his infor­ma­tion was not a member “of any govern­ment” or “state parties” and did not “come from the Russian govern­ment.” The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief blast­ed Friday’s declas­si­fied intel­li­gence report on “Assess­ing Russian Activ­i­ties and Inten­tions in Recent US Elections” as being inade­quate and mislead­ing.

“It was not an intel­li­gence report,” Assange said. “It does not have the struc­ture of an intel­li­gence report. It does not have the struc­ture of a Presi­den­tial Daily Brief. It was frankly quite embar­rass­ing.”

He added: “It was clear­ly designed for polit­i­cal effect.”

Asked Monday whether it’s possi­ble that WikiLeaks’ source was a go-between affil­i­at­ed with the Russian govern­ment, Assange said he didn’t want to “play twenty questions with our sources.”

The intel­li­gence report, prepared at the direc­tion of Presi­dent Obama, laid the blame for the breach of top Democ­ra­t­ic officials’ emails direct­ly at the feet of the Russians, whom the report said launched cyber opera­tions as part of a Vladimir Putin-ordered “influ­ence campaign.”

“We assess with high confi­dence that Russian military intel­li­gence … relayed materi­al to WikiLeaks,” the report said, adding this includ­ed materi­al from the DNC and senior Democ­ra­t­ic officials.

WikiLeaks famous­ly published emails from top DNC officials before the 2016 Democ­ra­t­ic conven­tion, and later published thousands of emails from Clinton campaign chair­man John Podesta — but Assange has stead­fast­ly insist­ed, includ­ing in a recent inter­view with Fox News’ Sean Hanni­ty, that Moscow was not the source.

Asked Monday if he believed the intel­li­gence community’s finding had been “fabri­cat­ed,” Assange stopped just short, saying: “Most of this so-called intel­li­gence report is not even fabri­cat­ed. That is, it does not even make asser­tions for the most part to rise to the level of fabri­ca­tions … it uses specu­la­tive terms and admits its own specu­la­tion.”

The report itself, perhaps in antic­i­pa­tion of such challenges, noted that the declas­si­fied version “does not include the full support­ing infor­ma­tion on key elements of the influ­ence campaign.”

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