WikiLeaks' Assange calls report on Russia hacking 'embarrassing'

The document-leaking organization's founder refers to last week's US intelligence report as a "press release" with a political agenda.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to CNN in July.

CNET/Screenshot

WikiLeaks isn't fond of the US intel community's report released Friday about how Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election.

Julian Assange, founder of the document-leaking organization and allegedly one of the key players in what US officials termed as Vladimir Putin's "influence campaign," slammed the report during a press conference Monday broadcast via Periscope.

"It is, frankly, quite embarrassing to the reputation of the US intelligence services," Assange said during the live audio stream.

Assange said the report (PDF) was more of a "press release" than an intelligence briefing. "It is clearly designed for political effect," Assange added.

The report, put together by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency, said Russian hackers used WikiLeaks as a channel to distribute stolen documents, including leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee. WikiLeaks received its stolen documents from Russia's GRU intelligence agency, the report said.

Russian agents posed as "Guccifer 2.0," an independent Romanian hacker, to send WikiLeaks the hacked emails, the report also said.

"Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity," according to the report.

Assange said the leak sources were not from Russia's GRU, doubling down on his denial from last Tuesday.

"WikiLeaks sources in relation to the John Podesta emails and the DNC leak are not members of any government," he said during the Periscope stream.

President-elect Donald Trump has also criticized the report, denying that the hacks had any effect on the election.

The CIA and the FBI declined to comment for this story. The NSA didn't respond to a request for comment.

CNET's Laura Hautala contributed to this report.

Updated 4:04 p.m. PT: Adds that the FBI declined to comment on Assange's remarks.

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