WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange won’t say whether Russia had any involvement in the emails his organization released on the eve of last week’s Democratic National Convention. But he says there are more leaks coming.
“We have more material related to the Hillary Clinton campaign,” Assange told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday night from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the 45-year-old Australia native has been living in exile for several years. “That is correct to say that.”
Assange admitted that last weekend’s release of the DNC emails — which suggested that members of the party’s national committee were plotting against Bernie Sanders in an effort to boost Hillary Clinton during their hard-fought primary — was timed to coincide with the Monday start of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
“That’s when we knew there would be maximum interest by readers, but also we have a responsibility to,” Assange said. “If we published after [the convention], you can just imagine how outraged the Democratic voting population would have been.”
Bu he is refusing to disclose where he got those emails, which U.S. officials believe were obtained in a hack of the DNC’s servers by Russian intelligence. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has staked out a relatively soft position against the Kremlin.
“The difficulty that WikiLeaks has, of course, is that we can’t go around speculating on who our sources are. That would be irresponsible,” Assange said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I do think it’s an interesting question, of course, as to who our sources are. But as a source protection organization that many sources from across the world of many different types rely on to protect their identity, and their rights, to communicate the truth to the public. And that’s what we’re talking about here, communicating the truth.”
“What I can say categorically is that we have published proof that the election campaign of Bernie Sanders was sabotaged in a corrupt manner by [former DNC Chair] Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others within the DNC,” he added. “We can say that categorically. We have published proof. But as for anything else, we can only speculate.”
In comments that were widely reported in the wake of the leaked DNC emails, Assange told ITV last month that information WikiLeaks had “accumulated” on Clinton could “proceed to an indictment.” But those comments appear to refer to material that was published last week — and not the material that WikiLeaks has yet to leak.
Assange said he has no interest in tipping the U.S. election in favor of any candidate, including Trump. But it’s clear Assange did not appreciate the Clinton campaign’s response to the publication of the DNC emails.
“In order to divert attention from proof that we published that the Sanders campaign was subverted within the DNC,” Assange said on NBC, “the Clinton campaign tries to take attention away from a very serious domestic allegation about election interference and try and bring in foreign policy.”
And in the same interview with ITV, Assange criticized Clinton’s foreign policy and what he viewed as her attacks on the press.
“We do see her as a bit of a problem for freedom of the press more generally,” Assange said. “She has a long history of being a liberal war hawk, and we presume she is going to proceed.”