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.”