Donald Trump suggested in a tweet on Wednesday morning that he’s taking Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s word on Russia’s hacks over reports from the US intelligence community.
Tweeted Trump: “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
The president-elect quoted Assange from an interview he gave to Fox News’ Sean Hannity that aired Tuesday night, in which the WikiLeaks founder said that the emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and other prominent political figures were not given to him by a foreign government. The interview was held inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange has been for five years in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on charges of sexual assault.
Trump has thus far been unwilling to accept the assessment of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that it was the Russian government that was responsible for the wave of cyberattacks during the 2016 presidential election. He has instead suggested that it would be nearly impossible to know the true culprit and that “I also know things that other people don’t know” when it comes to the cyberattacks.