Trump cites Julian Assange as proof that Russia didn't hack Democrats, flouting US intelligence reports

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President-elect Donald Trump continued to dispute US intelligence reports that Russia strategically hacked and leaked internal emails from top Democratic sources, citing recent statements from embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

On Wednesday, the president-elect blasted out a series of tweets quoting Assange's Tuesday interview with Fox News host and major supporter Sean Hannity in which the WikiLeaks founder parroted much of Trump's rhetoric criticizing media outlets.

"Julian Assange said 'a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta' — why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!" Trump tweeted.


The president-elect then blamed the Democratic National Committee for not taking more steps to block hackers, and claimed that DNC had not addressed the content of some leaked emails, though several top figures at the organization resigned after emails emerged showing several offering criticism of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Since reports emerged that intelligence agencies found substantial evidence that Russia meddled in the US election, Trump has steadfastly continued to cast doubt over the credibility of US intelligence officials on the subject.

The comments came just hours after Trump mocked US intelligence agencies for postponing a private intelligence briefing scheduled for Friday on the subject of the Russian hacks.

The "Intelligence" briefing on so-called "Russian hacking" was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

While Trump offered some of the most high-profile affirmation of Assange's worldview, other American lawmakers continue to slam the WikiLeaks founder.

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A supporter of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holds a banner outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he marks three years since Assange claimed asylum in the embassy on June 19, 2015. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange clocks up three years inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London today, after claiming that Swedish prosecutors cancelled a landmark meeting in his case earlier this week. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A supporter of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holds banners outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he marks three years since Assange claimed asylum in the embassy on June 19, 2015. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange clocks up three years inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London today, after claiming that Swedish prosecutors cancelled a landmark meeting in his case earlier this week. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Files
Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference on the occasion of the ten year anniversary celebration of WikiLeaks in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears on screen via video link during his participation as a guest panelist in an International Seminar on the 60th anniversary of the college of Journalists of Chile in Santiago, Chile, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
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Speaking with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed Trump's tweets, but called Assange a "sycophant for Russia," a likely allusion to Assange's dismissal of WikiLeaks' need to find and distribute internal Russian communications.

President Barack Obama continues to ramp up pressure on Russia in the waning days of his administration.

Last week, Obama issued new sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies, and booted a number of diplomats and their families from the US.

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