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Wikileaks Will Hold ‘Press Conf’ Monday to Address U.S. Intel Report on Russian Hacking

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The so-called open-government group Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, sent out a tweet late Saturday night announcing plans to hold a press conference on Monday to address claims made in a report released by the U.S. Intelligence Community late Friday.

Among the many findings in the 25-page, declassified report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, one particular finding seems to have received the most attention from Wikileaks.

Specifically, the intelligence report found, “We assess with high confidence that the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence) relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to Wikileaks. Moscow most likely chose Wikileaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.”

Assange and Wikileaks have long denied any collaboration or association with Russia and the various hacks this election season targeted at the Democratic National Committee and the private email accounts of staffers associated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Just last week during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Assange stressed that Russia played no role in providing WikiLeaks emails believed to have been hacked from the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta. In fact, Assange assured viewers no state party was involved at all.

“We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,” Assange said.

He further accused Obama of “acting like a lawyer” in how he addresses any allegations involving Russia and Wikileaks.

“If you look at most of [Obama’s] statements he doesn’t say . . . WikiLeaks obtained its information from Russia, worked with Russia.” Assange said.

The Wikileaks founder even pointed to a purported Podesta email that appears to “show Podesta responding to a phishing email” that essentially tricks a user to revealing his password.  He also took a shot at the former Clinton campaign chairman for reportedly using “password” as his password.

“Podesta gave out that his password was the word ‘password’, Assange said.  “His own staff said this email that you’ve received, this is totally legitimate.”  He concluded by saying the Podesta hack was something a 14-year-old could have pulled off.

Moscow also rejected the report, unsurprisingly.  CBS News reports Alexei Pushkov, a member of the Russian Parliament’s upper house defense and security committee, lashed out in a tweet on Friday, saying, “All the accusations against Russia are based on ‘confidence’ and suppositions. The USA in the same way was confident about (Iraqi leader Saddam) Hussein having weapons of mass destruction.”

Wikileaks has not specifically stated what they will address, or even where the press conference will be held.  All we know thus far is that it will held Monday, January 9 at 9:00 a.m. est.

The last few Wikileaks livestream “press conferences” have been produced from the Ecuadorean embassy in London where Assange remains confined for nearly four-years now.  He is reportedly remaining in the embassy under asylum rather than return to Sweden where he faces alleged sexual assault charges from several years ago.

Some reports indicate he fears Sweden might extradite him to the United States where he could face a number of charges related to his alleged involvement in hacking going back to the Manning case that centered on what became known as “Cablegate” and the “War Logs.”

[image via haak78/Shutterstock]

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