Newt Gingrich: Julian Assange arrest shows US is ‘going to come after you until we get you'

The United States government has shown that patience is a virtue with the arrest of Wikileaks “villain” Julian Assange, according to Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House and a Fox News Contributor, told Fox & Friends that the developments to come out of London Thursday morning were a “very good thing”.

“If you believe in national security, if you believe in the safety of the United States, [Assange] is a villain,” Gingrich said.

“I think it is a very good thing that the United States government is communicating that we may take a while to get to you, but if you violate our secrets, if you endanger our national security, if you put the country at risk, we’re going to come after you until we get you, and I think that is exactly the right approach. Nobody has the right to leak secrets that could endanger lives and, in fact, could endanger the whole country.”

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Gingrich spoke as Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, was carried out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in the arms of British police, bringing to an end his nearly 7-year stay in the embassy.

Hours later, he was charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for aiding Chelsea Manning in the cracking of a password to a classified U.S. government computer for classified documents and communications, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Assange made his name after publishing thousands of military and State Department cables from Manning.

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Speaking about the effect Wikileaks had on the intelligence community in the immediate aftermath of the publication, Gingrich said: “If you go back and you look how much damage was done by all of these leaks, how many people who cooperated with us were suddenly exposed, how many of our allies were offended, this is not a game. This is not somebody's right to go off on their own. At the heart of civilization has to be a set of rules and some kind of accountability.”