WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the CIA of trying to “subvert” his First Amendment rights after agency Director Mike Pompeo called the group a “non-state hostile intelligence service” that is often abetted by “state actors like Russia.”
“History shows the danger of allowing the CIA or any intelligence agency, whose very modus operandi includes misdirection and lying, to be the sole arbiter of what is true or what is prudent,” Assange said in a statement Friday. “Otherwise every day might see a repeat of the many foolish CIA actions which have led to death, displacement, dictatorship and terrorism”
Pompeo, in his first speech since taking over the agency, called Assange a “fraud,” someone who has no “moral compass” and a “narcissist who has created nothing of value.”
He asserted that Assange and former National Security Agency staffer and famed leaker Edward Snowden “seek to use that information to make a name for themselves” and they “care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security.”
Asked why he would focus on WikiLeaks rather than other issues, Pompeo said he felt it was vital to inform the American people about the threat they pose.
“The bottom line is that it became harder for us in the intelligence community to keep Americans safe. It became harder to monitor the communications of terrorist organizations that are bent on bringing bloodshed to our shores. Snowden’s disclosures helped these groups find ways to hide themselves in the crowded digital forest,” Pompeo added.
Last week, WikiLeaks released the latest chapter in its ongoing "Vault 7" series of cyber and hacking tools that it claims were stolen from the CIA.
Pompeo’s message came after President Trump said during his campaign that he “loved” WikiLeaks for releasing some of Hillary Clinton’s emails.