The Obama administration on Wednesday warned that the next release of documents from whistleblower Web site WikiLeaks could damage relations between the US and foreign governments. Now, a report from Reuters offers an explanation as to why that may be.
According to “sources familiar with the State Department cables held by WikiLeaks,” the imminent document dump will include reports from US diplomats on corruption within foreign governments and among world leaders.
Reuters reports that governments in Europe and Asia feature prominently in the document release, with Russia and Afghanistan being mentioned by name. However, there were no specifics reported as to the nature of the corruption allegations or which governments are involved.
Three sources familiar with the State Department cables held by WikiLeaks say the corruption allegations in them are major enough to cause serious embarrassment for foreign governments and politicians named in them.
They said the release was expected next week, but could come earlier. The U.S. government has strongly objected to past WikiLeaks revelations, which it said compromise national security and can put some people at risk.
The US government, for its part, seems to be aware of the general nature of the material WikiLeaks will be releasing. AP reported Wednesday:
The Obama administration said Wednesday it has alerted Congress and begun notifying foreign governments that the WikiLeaks website is preparing to release sensitive U.S. diplomatic files that could damage U.S. relations with friends and allies across the globe.
“These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.”
Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last week, several months after the country launched, then dropped, then launched again an investigation into claims by two women that Assange sexually assaulted them.
Assange has maintained his innocence, and says all contact between him and the two women was consensual. He says the allegations are a ruse to discredit WikiLeaks, speculating that the Pentagon may have motivated the rape claims.
Trump may ‘undo his presidency’ — with Republicans backing impeachment: CNN’s conservative anchor
President Donald Trump's presidency is in peril as Republican lawmakers condemn the administration for green-lighting Turkey's ethnic cleansing of Kurds in northern Syria.
"President Trump this week set fire to the emoluments clause by announcing his own resort would host the G-7 summit. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, set fire to his boss’s innocence admitting on camera to the very thing Trump is being investigated for and possibly impeached over," CNN's S.E. Cupp said.
"Donald Trump has put the Republican Party through a lot. Most have gone willingly along with him -- kids in cages, a trade war, protecting Putin, honoring Kim Jong-Un, breaking the law, the lies, the insults, the fake news, the rape allegations. Defending the president over the indefensible has become something of a cottage industry for Republican lawmakers, few of whom have ever dared to call him out," she noted.
Boris Johnson said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than delay Brexit — but just asked to extend deadline
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to write to Brussels seeking a Brexit deadline extension after MPs voted Saturday to demand he delay Britain's October 31 departure date.
In a phonecall with European Council President Donald Tusk after the vote, Johnson said he would send the letter mandated by MPs to seek more time, a EU source told AFP.
"The PM confirmed that the letter would be sent to Tusk today," the source said.
"Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days," he added.
Tusk said on Twitter that he was "waiting for the letter".
Trump is ‘weakened on virtually every front’ as impeachment intensifies: Washington Post analysis
President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.
"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.