Hillary Clinton ramped up rhetoric against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange today, telling the Australian Broadcasting Corp that the man many feel is partially responsible for her stunning loss in the 2016 presidential race is a “tool of Russian intelligence.”
“He’s a tool of Russian intelligence, and if he’s such a … martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?” she asked while speaking to Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Clinton was referring to WikiLeaks’ publication during the 2016 election campaign of politically damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
According to WikiLeaks, Democrats rigged the system to have Clinton beat Bernie Sanders, her primary Democratic rival.
This not-so-thinly-veiled continuation of the narrative that Russia worked with Trump to ensure her loss is interesting in light of the fact that it hasn’t been that long ago that Assange was reportedly willing to reveal “absolute proof” that his source for the DNC leak was not a Russian agent.
However, last week Assange walked that back, saying that he has never — and will never — reveal his sources.
He was responding to a Daily Caller report that Rohrabacher, a California Republican, and Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul met to discuss a deal for Assange to out his source in exchange for a pardon from President Donald Trump.
“Offers have been made to me — not the other way around. I do not speak to the public through third parties,” Assange tweeted.
Assange’s reversal has apparently opened the door for Clinton to begin new assertions that Wikileaks worked with Putin to undermine her campaign and secure Donald Trump’s win. Clinton even went so far as to call Assange “a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator.”
Republican California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who initially revealed Assange’s claim of proof that the Russians were not behind the DNC leak, has remained resolute that his conversations with the Wikileaks founder were clear.
“Assange has never disputed the many stories that have appeared about this since his meeting with the congressman,” Rohrabacher spokesman Ken Grubb said in a statement last Wednesday. “We do not know his motive for disputing it now. The congressman stands by his account.”