During’s CNN’s show New Day, early Wednesday former CIA official Philip Mudd claimed that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was “a pedophile who lives in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.” This statement came up during discussion about hacks against the Democratic National Committee, and possible involvement by the Russians. The actual accusation seems to have stemmed from an online dating site, toddandclare.com, that allegedly took shots at Assange as he was the greatest perceived enemy of the Clinton campaign for president of the United States.
Wikileaks responded by issuing instructions to have CNN sued for defamation if they did not “air a one hour expose of the plot” within 48 hours, as noted in a Twitter just after the on-air comments early Wednesday.
CNN retracted the Tweet that contained the video, and posted an apology three hours later, which stated that “an analyst on [their] air earlier today asserted that Julian Assange was a pedophile, and regrets saying it. In fact, CNN has no evidence to support that assertion. Assange is currently wanted for extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations there, and no evidence suggests that the women involved were minors. We regret the error.”
In response, a secondary account held by Wikileaks, called Wikileaks Task Force, posted on Twitter that CNN had made the apology and retracted the pedophilia accusation, but that they made “another two.” The link posted also makes reference to a website, justice4assange.com, which answers questions about the sexual assault cases that Assange has yet to be tried for.
President-elect Donald Trump put out a series of tweets on the issue, saying Wednesday that “Julian Assange said ‘a 14-year old could have hacked Podesta’ — why was DNC so careless? Also said Russains did not give him the info!” After much media coverage on this tweet, he responded with two on Thursday morning, saying “the dishonest media likes saying that I am in Agreement with Julian Assange – wrong. I simply state what he states, it is for the people…. to make up their own minds as to the truth. The media lies to make it look like I am against “Intelligence” when in fact I am a big fan!”
This post was written by Nicholas Amato.
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