Assange Blasts ODNI Report
Julian Assange answered questions submitted via #AskWL on Twitter for over an hour, which was streamed live via Periscope from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
He described the report of the US Office of Director of National Intelligence as containing “zero evidentiary weight” and being “deliberately political”.
Assange was referring to ODNI’s Statement on Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections issued on Jan. 6, Russia Today reported.
Asked about the source of the leaked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, Assange denied it was a state.
“If our sources were a state, we would have a lot less concern in attempting to protect them,” he said, adding that he would not provide additional information as this could lead to their identification.
“Take the data now, keep it under your bed or with your mother. You can give it to WikiLeaks,” Assange said, encouraging members of the administration of US President Barack Obama to prevent information being destroyed before he leaves office.
He denied that WikiLeaks possessed information from the Republican National Committee which they refused to publish, calling the claim “false”.
Assange said he believed that whistleblowers would continue to be persecuted under Trump’s administration, saying, “No system of authority likes those who undermine their authority.”
The whistle blowing site has been accused of working with the Russian government to ensure Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections.
Both WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange have repeatedly denied the leaks came from state actors, with former UK ambassador and WikiLeaks associate, Craig Murray, stating the leak came from a “disgusted” whistleblower from within the Democratic establishment.
The ODNI’s unclassified findings report has drawn much criticism and mockery for its apparent lack of evidence and its substantial padding with outdated details about RT.
It claims Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a negative online campaign to influence the elections to facilitate a Trump victory and that the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) then fed the information to WikiLeaks.
“We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks,” it read.
Among critics was former CIA analyst Larry Johnson who described the report as a “farce” and a “charade”, claiming Hillary Clinton was effective in discrediting herself, without needing the help of Russia.
The report also cites Russian politicians celebrating Trump’s win as further evidence. It does not, however, draw the same conclusions about other governments’ delight at Trump’s victory.