WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reiterated in an interview that Russian hackers were not the source of Democratic emails his organization leaked during the election season.
“Our source is not the Russian government,” he told Fox host Sean Hannity’s radio show.
Assange added that WikiLeaks got information about Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, but “it was already public somewhere else.”
He added that legacy media outlets, not Russia, were responsible for Trump’s victory. “They’re increasingly not very important. I think Trump has even made this statement that they’re a paper tiger in this election, and the new publications on the internet feed directly to the people,” Assange said of media outlets.
Later, he said that if there were more honest reporters in the United States, the WikiLeaks emails would have created “a case bigger than Watergate.”
“The degree of bias they’ve been showing during the election process, and it’s been coming from both sides—particularly the liberal press—readers see that, they feel it. They don’t like being lectured to or told what to do, and they rebel against it,” Assange said. “I guess that is the other reason why Trump won that no one is speaking about. That kind of hectoring from the liberal media in the United States—and the type of advertising that Hillary Clinton was putting out—really turned people off, because it seemed like those people who already had a lot of social power were telling you what to do, so you wanted to do the opposite.”
According to several media reports last week, namely one from the Washington Post, the CIA has alleged that Russia attempted to sway the election in Trump’s favor via hacking. Trump and the Kremlin have denied the claims. On Friday, CIA Director John Brennan sent a letter to his workforce, saying FBI Director James Comey agreed with the CIA’s assessment. Neither of the two officials have publicly confirmed these assertions.
A WikiLeaks operative, Craig Murray, the former U.K. ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he didn’t receive any leaked emails “from the Russians.”
He said the emails were given to the anti-secrecy organization via Americans who had access to the information through legitimate channels, he told the Daily Mail. The leakers, he added, were pushed to release the emails out of “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.”
Murray said that he got a package from a source during a clandestine drop-off near American University in a wooded area in Washington, D.C.
“Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,” he said.