President-elect Donald Trump early Wednesday highlighted Julian Assange’s claim that Russia was not the source for stolen documents WikiLeaks released in the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election.
“Julian Assange said ‘a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta’ – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and the Democratic National Committee.
Assange maintained during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity late Tuesday that the documents did not come from Russia.
The Obama administration formally accused Russia in October of trying to interfere in the United States election.
The administration announced new sanctions on Russia last week, expelling 35 diplomats and shutting down two of the country’s compounds in the United States, after an FBI and Department of Homeland Security report linked the Kremlin to hacking of Democratic Party organizations.
President Obama also pointed to the “the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials” as a reason for the new sanctions.
In an interview Wednesday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wouldn’t say whether he thought Trump should be quoting Assange.
But Ryan had harsh words for Assange, calling him a “sycophant” for Russia who leaks and steals data and “compromises national security.”
In later tweets, Trump also questioned why the Democratic National Committee (DNC) did not have “hacking defenses.”
“Somebody hacked the DNC but why did they not have ‘hacking defense’ like the RNC has and why have they not responded to the terrible … things they did and said (like giving the questions to the debate to H). A total double standard! Media, as usual, gave them a pass,” Trump wrote.
Source; The Hill