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James Comey dismisses gossipy WikiLeaks coverage as ‘intelligence porn’

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FBI Director James Comey branded some WikiLeaks reports “intelligence porn” during his Wednesday testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Russia’s role in the presidential election.

Comey made the comments after Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., asked him to explain why he doesn’t consider WikiLeaks to be a legitimate journalistic organization.

“It’s an important question, because all of us care deeply about the First Amendment and the ability of a free press to get information about our work and publish it,” Comey began, before delving into his rationale.

“To my mind, it crosses a line when it moves from being about trying to educate a public and instead just becomes about intelligence porn, frankly — just pushing out information about sources and methods without regard to interest, without regard to the First Amendment values that normally underlie press reporting and simply becomes a conduit for the Russian intelligence services or some other adversary of the United States just to push out information to damage the United States.”

WikiLeaks, the organization dedicated to publishing secret documents, became a flashpoint during the campaign when thousands of papers and emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman appeared on the site.

The U.S. intelligence community accused the Russian government of spearheading the hacks that gave the emails to WikiLeaks.

Many of the emails were politically damaging or otherwise embarrassing, and the repeated document dumps created weeks of negative headlines for Clinton. Clinton herself on Tuesday blamed her loss in part on their disclosure.

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