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WikiLeaks founder dismisses US intel. report on Russian ‘hacking’

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denounced the US intelligence community’s recent report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election as a politically motivated “press release”.

American officials, including outgoing President Barack Obama, have accused the Kremlin of carrying out cyberattacks against US political organizations to help Republican candidate Donald Trump win the White House.

On Friday, the US intelligence community released an unclassified 25-page report claiming that the Russian government had directed hackers to target various Democratic Party organizations and operatives to influence the outcome of the election.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Assange called the report politically motivated and damaging to the intelligence community’s reputation.

“It is not an intelligence report,” he said. “This is a press release. It was clearly put out for political purposes.”

Assange said the US intelligence provided no evidence that Russian actors had given WikiLeaks hacked material. He, however, did not provide any clues about the source of the documents which he released in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

He said the report is vague and that US intelligence officials should be embarrassed by the declassified document.

The US intelligence community’s document accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering his government to help Trump win the November election.

The report claims that Russia “sought to help” Trump by running a smear campaign against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, but falls short of concluding that the Russian interference tipped the scales in favor of the Republican candidate.

James Jatras, a former US Senate policy adviser and diplomat,told Press TV on Monday that the outgoing US administration, mainstream media and intelligence community are spreading the Russian hacking fiction in order to discredit Trump’s presidency and undermine potential efforts to mend ties with Moscow.

“If you look at that report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, it really doesn’t pass the laugh test. There is no proof in it. It’s a bunch of allegations on a ‘just trust us’ basis, that we have seen abused so many times in the past whether it was in Benghazi or WMDs in Iraq,” the analyst stated.

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