Obama trying to delegitimise Trump’s presidency, says Assange
WikiLeaks founder criticises administration’s focus on hacking of Democrats’ emails
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange: “They are trying to say that president-elect Trump is not a legitimate president.” Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
The Obama administration has been accused of trying to “delegitimise” Donald Trump’s impending US presidency over the alleged hacking of election emails.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since the summer of 2012 for fear of being extradited to the US, was speaking to the Fox News channel’s Seán Hannity after Barack Obama identified Russia as almost certainly being responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
WikiLeaks subsequently published more than 19,000 internal emails stolen from the DNC, days before the Democratic convention was starting.
The emails showed DNC staffers actively supporting Mrs Clinton when they were publicly promising to remain neutral during the primary elections between Mrs Clinton and her then-rival for the candidacy, Bernie Sanders.
The head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned over the disclosures.
Mr Trump at the time said blaming Russia was deflecting attention from the embarrassing material in the emails – although he had previously challenged Russia to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from Mrs Clinton’s private server.
In an interview due to be broadcast on Fox at 10pm on Tuesday (Wednesday 3am GMT), Mr Assange said: “Our publications had wide uptake by the American people, they’re all true. But that’s not the allegation that’s being presented by the Obama White House.
“So, why such a dramatic response? Well, the reason is obvious. They’re trying to delegitimise the Trump administration as it goes into the White House.
“They are trying to say that president-elect Trump is not a legitimate president.”
Mr Assange denied the information from the emails was obtained by Russia.
He said: “Our source is not a state party, so the answer for our interactions is no.
“But if we look at our most recent statement from the US government, which is on December 29th, okay, we had five different branches of government, Treasury, DHS, FBI, White House, presenting their accusations to underpin Obama’s throwing out 29 Russian diplomats.
“What was missing from all of those statements? The word WikiLeaks. It’s very strange.”
Asked if he thought WikiLeaks had changed the course of the US election, Mr Assange told Fox News channel: “Who knows? It’s impossible to tell.
“But if it did, the accusation is that the true statements of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, and the DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, their true statements is what changed the election.”
Mr Trump’s inauguration as US president is due to take place on January 20th.