Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for three hours in London Wednesday and said the controversial document leaker claims to have proof Russia was not behind the Democratic National Committee email hacks.
“He reaffirmed his aggressive denial that the Russians had anything to do with the hacking of the DNC during the election,” Rohrabacher told the Orange County Register about meeting with Assange. “He has given us a lot of information. He said there’s more to come. We don’t have the entire picture yet.”
The two met at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been for five years.
Rohrabacher added that he believes the information Assange shared with him “will have an earth-shattering political impact.”
“It wouldn’t be so important if Democrats hadn’t focused so inordinately on the Russians. Democrats are creating a total upheaval over this,” the Republican added.
Four U.S. intelligence agencies have said they have “high confidence” that Russia is to blame for the DNC hacks and gave the documents to WikiLeaks, which published them in full before the election last year. But Assange has long denied that accusation.
Why it’s on our radar: Regarding the previous post, The Daily Beast reported with certainty that the Russian cyber-espionage effort “successfully” helped elect Donald J. Trump, and that is certainly the opinion of some within the U.S. intelligence community. That premise is based primarily on the claim that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton, then provided the hacked emails and documents to Wikileaks. Julian Assange of Wikileaks has repeatedly claimed Russia is not the source of the emails the whistleblower web site published throughout last year’s campaign cycle.
Julian Assange of Wikileaks has repeatedly claimed Russia is not the source of the emails the whistleblower web site published throughout last year’s campaign cycle and in fact this meeting with a sitting U.S. congressman, in which he tripled down his denial and agreed to offer proof of his claim is significant because, if true, it would negate prior estimates from U.S. intelligence officials and upend a political narrative the country has been told repeatedly since last November.
None of this is to suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a good guy, or that Russian intelligence agencies are not working daily to disrupt the United States, or even that the Kremlin did not attempt to interfere in last year’s election cycle — only that specific hacked documents and emails that originated from the DNC and the Clinton campaign were not hacked by Russian operatives, if Assange turns out to be telling the truth.
If he is, then the Democratic Party and many legacy media outlets will have done more to destroy Americans’ faith in their electoral system than the Kremlin. And that’s assuming that the Democratic Party and the American legacy media weren’t duped by the Russians to push the false narrative.
Lots to sort out here, but this latest development is noteworthy for what it may lead to.