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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Donald Trump tweets backing of Julian Assange and mocks US intelligence agencies

The US President-elect continues to defy conventions.

Source: PBS NewsHour/YouTube

US PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump has attacked the US intelligence community, suggesting they are trying to “build a case” against Russia for hacking his political opponents.

US intelligence services including the CIA have concluded that Moscow was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Convention but Trump has repeatedly questioned this assertion.

He’s now repeated his claims and has also backed denials by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange that Wikileaks did get their information from Russia.

Last night, Trump mocked the briefing he was scheduled to be given, saying that it was “very strange” that it was delayed.

Trump followed up that tweet with his support for Assange after the Wikileaks founder appeared on Fox News to speak about the website’s release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Convention.

Assange told Fox News’ that he didn’t get the information from the Russian government, adding that ‘a 14-year-old’ could have broken into their emails.

“We published several … emails which show (Clinton campaign chair John) Podesta responding to a phishing email,” Assange said.

Podesta gave out that his password was the word ‘password’. His own staff said this email that you’ve received, this is totally legitimate. So, this is something … a 14-year-old kid could have hacked Podesta that way.

“The source is not the Russian government. It is not state parties,” the 45-year-old Australian also told Fox.

After the interview, Trump appeared to back Assange’s claim, adding that Democrats were “careless” to allow their security be breached.

Trump’s backing of Assange is particularly unprecedented for an incoming President given the fact that Assange is under criminal investigation for his role in classified information leaks.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over four years as he avoids extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault. Assange claims that he fears further extradition to the United States if he sets foot in Sweden.

Read: White House to transfer prisoners out of Guantanamo despite Trump’s demands >

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Rónán Duffy

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