Fox host Sean Hannity interviewed founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks Julian Assange to attack Hillary Clinton despite Hannity’s previous attacks on Assange for publishing sensitive military and diplomatic documents in 2010, suggesting the United States should “go after” Assange and “arrest him” for “waging [a] war against the U.S.”
According to a Nexis search, during a 2010 broadcast of Fox News’ Hannity, Hannity criticized Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing sensitive documents provided to them by a U.S. Army private. The documents, according to The New York Times, “amount to a secret chronicle of the United States’ relations with the world in an age of war and terrorism.” At the time, Hannity said Assange was “waging his war against the U.S.” by publishing the documents, and asked, “why didn’t they arrest” Assange? “Why can’t Obama do something about the WikiLeaks?”:
SEAN HANNITY: All right. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will make an appearance before a British judge tomorrow. Now the appearance is related to sexual assault charges that he's facing in Sweden. Now this news comes just as there's word that Assange is apparently not done waging his war against the U.S., at least not yet.
Revealing their identities, helping us and cooperating with us in our battle against the Taliban. These are real lives that are now in jeopardy and in danger. That was step one.
Then 390,000 other documents were released. Many of them classified documents. And now we have this. What is -- why? Why didn't they go after this guy and why didn't they arrest him? Why didn't they stop this from being published when we had so much time to do it?
Why can't Obama do something about the WikiLeaks? We got this four months ago. You know, we can stop pirating a music and Hollywood movies, but we can't stop this guy from stealing highly classified documents that puts people's lives at risk?
But now that Assange has admitted to publishing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is promising more leaks that could be damaging to the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, Fox News has given Assange a platform to discuss and preview more leaks of Democratic operatives and organizations. Although American authorities say they have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the DNC hack, when Assange implied that a murdered DNC staffer was the source of the email leak and was killed in an attempt to silence him, conservative media echoed Assange’s conspiracy theory. Roger Stone, a longtime ally and adviser to Donald Trump, has also claimed that he has “communicated with Assange,” and that, according to Stone, “the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation.”
In a direct contrast to his previous criticism of Assange, in his September 6 interview, Hannity praised Assange for having “done a lot of good in what” Assange has “exposed,” saying that he “applaud[s]” Assange for exposing “how corrupt, dishonest, and phony our government is.” At the conclusion of the interview, Hannity told Assange, “I do hope you get free one day.”
The interview with Hannity marks the second time in the last three weeks that Fox News has hosted Assange in primetime, with Megyn Kelly bringing Assange on to her show on August 24 to speculate about whether or not further emails he has in his possession could be a “game-changer in the US election.”