- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President-elect Donald Trump slammed the media for portraying him as being in agreement with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Russia not being responsible for hacks of Democratic Party organizations during the election cycle.
Trump cited recent statements from Assange in tweets on Wednesday, saying: “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!”
He was referring to hacks into Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account, with emails from the account later being published by WikiLeaks.
Trump insisted Thursday that his quoting Assange did not mean he agreed with Assange’s comments. Assange has insisted that he did not get the hacked Podesta and Democratic National Committee emails from Russian state sources, despite US intelligence reports that have concluded otherwise.
“The dishonest media likes saying that I am in Agreement with Julian Assange – wrong,” Trump tweeted. “I simply state what he states, it is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth. The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!”
Intelligence agencies have reportedly found substantial evidence that Russia meddled in the US election to help Trump, but Trump has steadfastly continued to cast doubt over the credibility of US intelligence officials on the subject. He is set on Friday to receive a briefing from US intelligence agencies on the Russian hacking.
Maxwell Tani contributed to this report.