Trump sides with WikiLeak’s Assange on Russian hacking claims

Donald Trump took to Twitter to side with WikiLeak's founder Julian Assange over Russian hacking claims instead of believing what US intelligence agencies have claimed to be true.

donald trump
Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

President-elect Donald Trump has been tweeting up a storm, suggesting the “delay” in the intelligence briefing on Russian hacking was “very strange” and even seeming to back WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s version of the hacking over that of what US intelligence agencies said with “100 percent” certainty happened.

Trump claims intelligence briefing on Russian hacking was delayed Donald Trump

Trump had previously claimed during a New Year’s Eve party that he knew “things that other people don’t know” about the Russian hacking, adding that he would reveal new details about the alleged Russian hacking on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Unnamed, top intelligence officials pushed back after Trump’s tweet, telling CNN that even President Obama hasn’t received the full Russian hacking report since the report isn’t completed yet, and the scheduled meeting was to take place on Friday. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was reportedly not scheduled to be in New York City to see Trump yesterday or today, so he was “perplexed about the ‘delay’ Trump claimed was taking place.”

US intelligence pushed back against Trump Russian hacking delayed report claim Hallie Jackson

But Trump was on a roll after suggesting intelligence agencies were perhaps still trying to build a case and started quoting Julian Assange. This was one of the most high-profile nods to Assange; it seems like most high-ranking US officials consider WikiLeaks to be some sort of Satan’s spawn.

Trump quotes Assange on DNC hack Donald Trump

Apparently, Trump was following the Assange interview on Fox News. During the interview, Assange told Sean Hannity that the Russians were not the source of John Podesta’s / DNC emails that were published by WikiLeaks. “Our source is not the Russian government,” Assange again stated. “It is not state parties.”

Assange hammered on dishonest media coverage and Trump echoed that sentiment.

Trump backing Assange's claim of dishonest media coverage Donald Trump

The president-elect also took the opportunity to bash the Democratic National Committee for failing at cyber security.

Trump noted somebody hacked DNC but didn't say Russians Donald Trump

Yet a plethora of three-letter US agencies as well as the Obama Administration are confident the Russians are to blame for interfering with the election; Obama came out with sanctions and kicked 35 diplomats and their families out of the US. It remains to be seen what Trump will say after he is briefed on the full Russian hacking report.

As for Trump’s previous suggestion to write down “very important” information and have it “delivered by courier,” since “no computer is safe,” perhaps someone can educate him about encryption. Crypto is not the devil, it’s the solution. If Trump is going to take a stand against US Intelligence, then he should consider championing encryption.


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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