Sparks (and F-words) flew Friday when WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange squared off with unabashed liberal talk show host Bill Maher, with Maher accusing Assange of working with “a bad actor — Russia” to release hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Assange, who remains holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, was asked by Maher why WikiLeaks released more than 20,000 emails from the DNC that show a bias towards Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, in order to”basically f**k with the one person who stands in the way of us being ruled by Donald Trump.”
Assange avoided the question of Russia altogether in his response.
“Our materials, the materials that we release, are pristine,” he said. “We’re really good at this. We have a ten-year perfect record of never having got it wrong in relation to the integrity of what we release. There’s no allegation, even from Debbie Wasserman Schultz or any of these people, that any of the material is not completely valid and true. What there is, is a conflation between our publications — the DNC leaks — and an extensive variety of hacks of the DNC, and frankly other organizations over the last two years, possibly by state actors, that wasn’t at all surprising.”
Assange thought he might have found a reason Maher was being so defensive about Hillary as well.
“Just before I came here we thought we’d do a little search in our files and I do notice that a William Maher gave a Clinton affiliated entity a million dollars. Now it’s a William Maher in L.A. at the time that it came. Perhaps you’d like to comment. Is that you?” he asked.
The host mistakenly thought he was talking about his $1 million donation to the Obama campaign in 2012 but when Assange clarified and asked again if he donated $1 million to Clinton Maher replied “F**k no.”
Maher then challenged Assange to “hack into Donald Trump’s tax returns?”
“Well, we’re working on it,” Assange replied.
He went on to complain that NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who recently posted a cryptic tweet that had many wondering what government secret was going to be revealed next, of trying to get into President Obama’s good graces so he can get a pardon at the end of the president’s term.
“You know, Edward Snowden hasn’t published anything in three years,” he said. “He did one thing — it was a very important thing. And it was in fact so important that I, and this organization, saved his ass by rescuing him from Hong Kong, getting him asylum, making 23 asylum applications, and setting up his defense fund of the Courage Foundation, which I am a trustee of today. So, OK, I know Edward is trying to get a pardon at the end of the Obama presidency so he’s playing that game. I understand. He’s in a very serious situation.”
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