In the wake of the arrest if Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, Republicans are at a loss for words when it comes to explaining President Trump‘s past praise for the organization. Vice President Mike Pence, however, is arguing that Trump’s declarations of “love” for Wikileaks did not amount to an endorsement.
In an interview this Friday with CNN, Pence said that Trump was in no way endorsing an organization that stands accused of disseminating classified information.
“I think the president always, as you and the media do, always welcomes information,” Pence said. “But that was in no way an endorsement of an organization that we now understand was involved in disseminating classified information by the United States of America.”
Multiple times during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump praised Wikileaks as damaging information about Hillary Clinton‘s campaign was disseminated, which included hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
“I love WikiLeaks,” Trump said at a rally in 2016.
“This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove,” he said at another.
At another 2016 campaign event just after a data dump, Trump declared, “I love reading those Wikileaks.”
Even Pence promoted Wikileaks’ work in the past. In 2017, journalist Yashar Ali posted a video to Twitter showing Pence reading a hacked email that was given to the organization.
When asked about his past exaltations this Thursday, Trump’s tone was markedly different, saying that he knows “nothing” about Wikileaks.
“It’s not my thing,” Trump said.
The unsealed indictment of Assange accuses him of conspiring with Chelsea Manning to hack into government computers and gain access to top-secret information, which if true, is a federal crime.
Watch Pence’s remarks to CNN’s Dana Bash in the link below:
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) April 12, 2019
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