After Fox Spent 2016 Campaign Promoting Wikileaks, Trump's CIA Director Now Calls It “A Hostile Intelligence Service”


CIA Director Mike Pompeo labeled Wikileaks “a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” During the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign, Fox News frequently promoted Wikileaks, repeatedly hosting its founder, Julian Assange, and devoting 173 evening show segments to the documents Wikileaks obtained illegally in just the five weeks before the election. Sean Hannity, one of Fox’s most prominent personalities, was also the network's most gratuitous Wikileaks promoter.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo Denounces Wikileaks As “A Nonstate Hostile Intelligence Service Often Abetted By State Actors Like Russia”

CIA Director Pompeo: WikiLeaks Is “A Nonstate Hostile Intelligence Service” And Assange Is “A Narcissist” And “A Fraud.” In an April 13 speech, CIA Director Mike Pompeo denounced Wikileaks, saying, “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” Pompeo went on to call founder and editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, a “narcissist” and “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.” From The New York Times’ April 13 article:

In his first speech as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, the former Republican congressman who once applauded disclosures by WikiLeaks, attacked the group on Thursday as a stateless hostile intelligence unit eager to do the bidding of Russia and other American adversaries.

“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” Mr. Pompeo said. To support his assessment, he cited how the group had encouraged followers to join the C.I.A. and steal secrets, and how “it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States while seeking support from antidemocratic countries.”

But Mr. Pompeo’s harshest words were reserved for Julian Assange, calling the WikiLeaks founder a “narcissist” and “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.”


He then turned to WikiLeaks, citing its release of Democratic Party emails stolen by Russian hackers — the same stolen emails he was promoting in July — as evidence of its hostile intent.

“It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” he said. [The New York Times, 4/13/17]

Fox News Devoted Significant Coverage To Wikileaks Disclosures In The Final Month Of The 2016 Presidential Campaign

In The Five Weeks Before The 2016 Presidential Election, Fox News’ Evening Programs Devoted At Least 173 Segments To Wikileaks Disclosures Of Stolen Emails. According to a Media Matters study, Fox News’ evening shows devoted 173 segments to the Wikileaks disclosures of illegally-obtained emails in the five weeks before the presidential election, compared to 57 segments from CNN and 17 from MSNBC. Four of the six Fox programs that air between 5 and 11 p.m. ran at least one segment about the topic either every weekday or nearly every weekday between October 7 and November 7. Hannity aired segments on all but two weekdays between October 7 and November 7. [Media Matters, 1/27/17]

Fox News Repeatedly Provided A Platform For Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief Julian Assange

Fox News Hosted Assange At Least Five Times After Wikileaks Published Illegally-Obtained Emails From The Democratic National Committee. A Media Matters analysis of Nexis transcripts found that prime-time evening shows on Fox News hosted Assange at least four times from July -- when Wikileaks published the emails that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee servers -- till the November election. Fox’s morning show, Fox & Friends, also hosted Assange at least once on August 26. [Nexis, accessed 4/17/17; Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/26/16]

Fox News Host Repeatedly Applauded Wikileaks After It Published Hacked DNC And Clinton Documents

After Once Calling For His Arrest, Hannity Praised Julian Assange For Having “Done A Lot Of Good In What” He Has “Exposed.” After once calling for Julian Assange’s arrest for “waging [a] war against the U.S.,” Fox host Sean Hannity interviewed Julian Assange on September 6, giving the Wikileaks founder a platform to hype upcoming disclosures of illegally-obtained emails. Hannity praised Assange for having “done a lot of good in what” he had “exposed” and said that he “applaud[ed]” Assange for exposing “how corrupt, dishonest, and phony our government is.” At the end of the interview, Hannity told Assange, “I do hope you get free one day.” [Media Matters, 9/6/17]

Hannity Admitted "The Only Reason" He "Likes Assange Now Is" Because He Promised Clinton Leaks. Hannity openly admitted that “the only reason” he “likes Assange now is” because he promised more leaks of private emails from the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. From the September 8 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Everybody's going to think the only reason Hannity likes Assange now is because he's going to make this document dump on Hillary. Which, by the way, I'm not going to lie, sure, absolutely.


I'm sure that if it was against George Bush, that Democrats would love the guy. But it's not, it's against Hillary, and I think that they're scared to death. I am told within Democratic ranks, they are literally in their pants over this whole Julian Assange issue. They're scared to death. Yeah, it's happening in their pants. They're blanking their pants. Pooping their pants. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 9/8/16]

Hannity: "Wikileaks Has Never Been Wrong In 10 Years -- Not One Time." While hyping a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton’s health, Sean Hannity asserted that “Wikileaks has never been wrong in 10 years -- not one time. Not one time. Not one time.” From the September 12 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let’s go with the stuff that we do know, alright? Let’s go with the constant cough. Let’s go with what she told the FBI and that she had a concussion and therefore she couldn’t remember security briefings when she became secretary of state. She’s never -- she doesn’t remember ever having them. Then we know that she's had these -- what seem like neurological incidents -- where she’s like uncontrollable twitching, and I’ve shown the video on TV quite a bit and we’ve put it up on my website. And then you have a woman that collapses, but they don’t want to tell us she has pneumonia until hours and hours after because even the mainstream media is concerned that this looked really really bad.

So based on what we know, isn’t in it the public's right to know -- in the realm of the right to know, Kathleen -- whether or not she’s having neurological issues, whether or not -- as Dr. Ted Noel suggests -- that maybe -- and we have the WikiLeaks, by the way. You know, her staff was looking up drugs that are apparently are used for Parkinson's disease.

DR. KATHLEEN LONDON: You really want me to go that WikiLeaks is factual? Really?

HANNITY: Wikileaks has never been wrong in 10 years -- not one time. Not one time. Not one time. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 9/12/16]

Trump Also Repeatedly Promoted Wikileaks Disclosures

Think Progress: Trump Mentioned Wikileaks Disclosures “At Least 164 Times” In The Last Month Of The Campaign. According to a Think Progress study, President Donald Trump “spoke about the Wikileaks emails at least 164 times from October 10 to election day, saying the word Wikileaks 124 times.” Trump lauded Wikileaks as “amazing,” “unbelievable,” and “incredible” and said, “I love Wikileaks.” From Think Progress’ January 7 article:

ThinkProgress calculated the number by reviewing transcripts of Trump’s speeches, media appearances and debates over the last 30 days of the campaign.

Trump talked extensively about Wikileaks in the final days of a campaign that was ultimately decided by just 100,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania combined.


Trump encouraged his supporters to read Wikileaks. He delighted in each new release. He marveled at the damage Wikileaks was doing to her campaign.

Wikileaks, in short, was a core part of Trump’s closing argument against Hillary Clinton.

Trump spoke about the Wikileaks emails at least 164 times from October 10 to election day, saying the word Wikileaks 124 times. That means, on average, Trump discussed Wikileaks more than five times per day. [Think Progress, 1/7/17]

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Intelligence
Fox News Channel
Sean Hannity, Julian Assange
Think Progress
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