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WikiLeaks' Assange: Russia didn't give us emails

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jan 04, 2017

(CNN) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has repeated his claim that the Russian government was not the source of the emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and released by his organization.

The Obama administration, citing US intelligence sources, has accused Russia of orchestrating the hacking in an attempt to influence the outcome of the November presidential election.

The administration says it is "100% certain" about Russian involvement, but President-elect Donald Trump has frequently cast doubt on the veracity of the claims.



In interview that aired Tuesday on Fox News' "Hannity," Assange was asked if WikiLeaks' source of the hacked material was "Russia or anyone associated with Russia."

"Our source is not a state party. So the answer -- for our interactions -- is no," Assange told anchor Sean Hannity from his quarters at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has lived under diplomatic protection since 2012.

Pressed on the source of the emails leaked by WikiLeaks in the weeks and months leading up to the November elections, Assange repeated, "our source is not the Russian government. It is not state parties."

He was not asked directly if he believed Russia orchestrated the hacking.

Palin: All is forgiven

Former US vice presidential candidate and Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, once a vociferous opponent of WikiLeaks, posted an apology to Assange on Facebook.

"This important information (the emails) that finally opened people's eyes to democrat (sic) candidates and operatives would not have been exposed were it not for Julian Assange," she wrote.

"I apologize for condemning Assange when he published my infamous (and proven noncontroversial, relatively boring) emails years ago.

"Julian, I apologize."

Assange: No contact with Putin, Trump campaign

Assange also denied talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, his surrogates, or anyone associated with the Trump campaign.

Again pressed by Hannity to tie the Obama administration's accusations of hacking to WikiLeaks, Assange said that the President was "acting like a lawyer" by not directly making a link between the alleged hacking and WikiLeaks' involvement by publishing the documents.

"He is acting like a lawyer. If you look at most of his statements he doesn't say ... WikiLeaks obtained its information from Russia, worked with Russia."

He said that, despite not asserting a direct connection between Russian government hackers and WikiLeaks, the content of the emails published by WikiLeaks was germane to the election and the concerns of the electorate, and dominated much of the election cycle in the weeks leading up to November 8.

"Was (the leaked information) influential? Did it have a lot of influence? Statistically, yes. It was the number one topic on Facebook throughout October. The number one (political) topic on Twitter, also, throughout October.

"Did it change the outcome? Who knows. It's absolutely impossible to tell."

Assange: Would publish Trump leaks if available

He said that he would have "absolutely" have released information about Trump and his campaign, had he been given that.

He added that the White House's "dramatic response," directly accusing the Russian government of orchestrating the hacks, is an attempt to "delegitimize" Trump's presidency, something he believes the defeated party will continue to do.

"(The Democratic Party) will seize on this and harp on it for the next four years," he said.

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