WikiLeaks Founder Denies Russia Behind Podesta Email Hack

WASHINGTON (AP) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday denied that the Russian government or any other “state party” was his group’s source for more than 50,000 hacked emails from Hillary’s campaign chairman files Clinton, John Podesta.

In separate WikiLeaks statements and in an interview with a Russian government-backed television station, Assange dismissed warnings that Russia was the main player behind the cyber intrusions on Podesta and other politically connected individuals and organizations.

The WikiLeaks founder offered no evidence to support his denials of US government claims that US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia was behind the Democratic entity hacking campaigns in the United States. These violations raised the alarm for potential intrusions on election day.

“The sources of the Podesta emails currently published by WikiLeaks are not state parties,” Assange said in a statement. He also told RT that warnings from Clinton and his campaign that Russia was behind the hack into Podesta’s Gmail account were “false.”

“Hillary Clinton has repeatedly stated, incorrectly, that 17 US intelligence agencies believed Russia to be the source of our publications,” Assange told RT, also known as Russia Today. “This is wrong – we can say that the Russian government is not the source.” Russian officials have also denied any role.

“Only the highest Russian officials could have authorized these activities,” said director of national intelligence James Clapper in October. Clapper did not specifically name Russian President Vladimir Putin or other Russian officials, but US cybersecurity experts concluded that hacking groups affiliated with the Russian government and military intelligence services played a role in the breach. Democratic National Committee.

WikiLeaks began publishing nearly 20,000 hacked emails last July from the DNC’s computer system. Some of the emails disparaged Clinton’s rival Senator Bernie Sanders, which ultimately resulted in the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. US officials and private computer crime experts blamed the leak on Russian-linked hackers.

Assange has been granted asylum from Ecuador and lives in his embassy in London. He fled there in 2012 after Sweden issued an arrest warrant against him for an allegation of sexual assault.

Media organizations have reported on every new daily WikiLeaks release of Podesta emails over the past few weeks. Clinton campaign officials declined to discuss the emails, wondering if any material could be forged.

Thursday’s post of Podesta’s hacked emails includes:

– In a hacked March 2015 email, Hillary Clinton told her senior foreign policy adviser last year that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had created “an opening that should be exploited” after Netanyahu was forced to s ‘apologize for making remarks about Arab Israelis who have been condemned as racist.

Clinton made the comment to Councilor Jake Sullivan, who emailed a link to a New York Times article detailing the controversy in Israel over Netanyahu’s comments and an argument between him and the Obama administration over promising comments. that no Palestinian state would ever be established under its surveillance. .

– In a hacked September 2015 email, Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told Podesta that Clinton would have to make himself more available to reporters if Vice President Joe Biden entered the presidential race.

“But if Biden comes in, we’re going to have to give him time to do more press,” Palmieri wrote. “He’ll make a ton of it.” It’s free and he doesn’t have to travel to do it. So I’m also thinking of a post-Biden press awareness plan. “

–In a hacked email channel from last February, Clinton campaign staff discussed whether to respond on the day the nation learned of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“I can hardly imagine what she would say,” Palmieri said. “In a day or two, it might be appropriate to talk about the issues at SCOTUS, but it looks like it’s gone for tonight.”

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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