Former US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has called WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
a “tool of Russian intelligence.”
In an interview with an Australian state broadcaster on Monday, Clinton said Assange had “become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He’s a tool of Russian intelligence, and if he’s such a … martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?” she asked while speaking to Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Clinton was referring to WikiLeaks’ publication during the 2016 election campaign of politically damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
According to WikiLeaks, Democrats rigged the system to have Clinton beat Bernie Sanders, her primary Democratic rival.
WikiLeaks claimed that the Democratic Party establishment conspired to ensure Clinton win the party’s presidential nomination last year. In doing so it chose a weaker candidate who eventually lost the November 8, 2016 election to Trump.
There is ‘something wrong’ with Clinton
This file photo taken on February 5, 2016 shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressing the media.
On Monday, Assange hit back at Clinton for calling him a tool of Russia. He said there is “something wrong” with the former secretary of state.
“It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement,” he tweeted.
“Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen,” the Australian whistleblower noted.
In her interview on Monday, Clinton claimed there was a “concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia.”
“And most likely people in the United States
, as I say, weaponize that information, to make up stories, outlandish, often terrible stories that had no basis in fact, no basis even in the emails themselves, but which were used to denigrate me, my campaign, people who supported me, and to help Trump,” Clinton said.
“WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence,” she reiterated.
Assange’s group had leaked thousands of emails from the DNC last year, uncovering an insider effort within the party to rig the primary campaign against Clinton’s rival, Sanders.
The revelation triggered a political firestorm and resulted in the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz after a fierce infighting in the party.
During the primaries, Sanders ran a close race with Clinton and promised to continue the fight all the way until the Democratic National Convention in June 2016, where the party’s nominee was going to be named.
Towards the end of the race, however, Sanders changed his tone and bowed out in favor of Clinton.
Trump rode a wave of anger toward the elite US establishment to win the White House race against Clinton, a longtime Washington insider.