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Assange accuses Obama of sabotaging Trump

Press Association logoPress Association 3/01/2017

Julian Assange has accused the Obama administration of trying to "delegitimise" Donald Trump's impending US presidency over the alleged hacking of election emails.

Australian, Assange, who has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since the summer of 2012 for fear of being extradited to the US, was speaking to the Fox News channel's Sean Hannity after Barack Obama identified Russia as almost certainly being responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

WikiLeaks subsequently published more than 19,000 internal emails stolen from the DNC, days before the Democratic convention was starting.

The emails showed DNC staffers actively supporting Mrs Clinton when they were publicly promising to remain neutral during the primary elections between Mrs Clinton and her then-rival for the candidacy, Bernie Sanders.

Mr Trump at the time said blaming Russia was deflecting attention from the embarrassing material in the emails - although he had previously challenged Russia to "find the 30,000 emails that are missing" from Mrs Clinton's private server.

Assange defended Wikileaks and asserted that the Obama administration were trying to hurt Trump's image before he heads to the White House on January 20.

"Our publications had wide uptake by the American people, they're all true. But that's not the allegation that's being presented by the Obama White House," Assange said.

"So, why such a dramatic response? Well, the reason is obvious. They're trying to delegitimise the Trump administration as it goes into the White House.

"They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate president."

Mr Assange denied the information from the emails was obtained by Russia.

"Our source is not a state party, so the answer for our interactions is no," he said.

"But if we look at our most recent statement from the US government, which is on December 29, OK, we had five different branches of government, Treasury, DHS, FBI, White House, presenting their accusations to underpin Obama's throwing out 29 Russian diplomats.

"What was missing from all of those statements? The word WikiLeaks. It's very strange."

Asked if he thought WikiLeaks had changed the course of the US election, Mr Assange told Fox News channel: "Who knows? It's impossible to tell.

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