In transcript excerpts released prior to the 3 January 2017 airing of an interview between Julian Assange and Fox News host Sean Hannity, the founder of WikiLeaks again denied that leaked DNC e-mails published by the site in 2017 were provided by, or linked to, Russian state actors.
Assange had previously denied that Russians (or agents working on Russia’s behalf) were the source for leaked documents. In the 3 January 2017 Fox News segment, Assange again stated that Russia did not have a role in the leaking of the controversially published material.
A short video was appended to a teaser on Fox’s web site prior to the segment’s airing:
Fox attributed claims that Russia had interfered with the 2016 election to the Obama administration, quoting both Assange and Hannity interview as well statements from the former that WikiLeaks’ name was absent from recent U.S. government statements about the matter:
Despite the Obama administration’s claims that Russia was behind cyber-intrusions meant to interfere with the U.S. election — and punitive measures taken against Moscow last week — Assange said nobody associated with the Russian government gave his group the files. “We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,” Assange told Fox News, in an interview in London … Assange also noted that in recent statements from top administration offices including the FBI and White House, “the word WikiLeaks” was missing, even as the administration expelled Russian diplomats in retaliation for cyberattacks. “It’s very strange,” he said.
Citing questions about “evidence the [Obama] administration has to back up its Russia allegations,” the Fox quoted Assange as positing that the language used by the President was malleable:
Asked if he thought Obama was lying to the American people about Russia’s actions, Assange said the president is “acting like a lawyer” with his allegations. “If you look at most of his statements, he doesn’t say that. He doesn’t say that WikiLeaks obtained its information from Russia, worked with Russia,” Assange said. But he said he believes the administration is “trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House. They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate president.”
Assange demurred when asked if he thought WikiLeaks’ publications had influenced the final outcome of the election:
Asked if the emails changed the outcome of the election, Assange said: “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.”
In addition to Assange’s 3 January 2017 interview, WikiLeaks announced that Julian Assange planned to host a Reddit AMA on 5 January 2017:
You can ask WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange anything live at Thursday 9am EST on Reddit @Reddit_IAmA #AskMeAnything #IAmA #proofoflife pic.twitter.com/ZNVM0xFkss — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 2, 2017