SYDNEY — Australian diplomats will support detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd vowed Wednesday, even after Assange accused Canberra of “disgraceful pandering” to his foes.
Australia’s consul-general to Britain has already spoken to Assange, arrested in London Tuesday on a warrant seeking his extradition to Sweden on sex assault charges, while diplomats attended his court hearing, officials said.
“We have confirmed that we’ll provide (consular support), as we’d do for all Australian citizens,” Rudd said a day after his boss Prime Minister Julia Gillard branded WikiLeaks’ publication of leaked diplomatic cables “grossly irresponsible.”
“We’ll be providing him with a letter soon which indicates we’ll be prepared to provide consular visits and any other level of consular support concerning his well-being and his legal rights,” Rudd said on commercial television.
His comments came hours after Assange turned himself in on charges his lawyers have branded politically motivated as his organization’s snowballing revelations sowed panic and fury in governments across the world.
In an opinion piece written before his arrest and published in the Australian newspaper on Wednesday, Assange tore into the Australian government for turning on him and backing US claims that his revelations were illegal.
“Australians should observe with no pride the disgraceful pandering to (calls by US figures for Assange to be hunted down) by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her government,” he wrote.
“The powers of the Australian government appear to be fully at the disposal of the US as to whether to cancel my Australian passport or to spy on or harass WikiLeaks supporters.
“We are the underdogs. The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn’t want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings.”
Rudd vowed to defend Assange’s rights even as confidential US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks painted an unflattering picture of the former prime minister as an impulsive “control freak” who had made diplomatic blunders.
Trump ramps up new Twitter attack on four female Democratic lawmakers — raging they are ‘weak & insecure’
Faced with a continuing firestorm over last Sunday's racist Twitter attack on four Democratic lawmakers -- who all happen to be women of color -- President Donald Trump was again returned to Twitter to attack the women instead of letting the issue die.
Moments after he used Twitter to attack the Washington Post for reporting on the turmoil he created -- which has been unversally condemned by Democrats and conservatives alike -- the president thought it was a good time to add fuel to the fire.
Trump launches furious attack on Washington Post for new report about his racist tweet debacle: ‘Presidential harassment!’
President Donald Trump launched yet another attack on the Washington Post on Sunday morning, accusing the paper of "Presidential harassment!" for reporting on the fall-out from his racist tweets and his equally racist rally in North Carolina.
Responding to the Post's report that Kellyanne Conway was forced to tell the president that he had set off a firestorm last Sunday with his tweets attacking four Democratic lawmakers, the president pushed back using his old stand-by: "Fake News."
Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera turns his back on Trump after racist furor: His ‘critics were much more right than I’
Deep in a report on the fissures Donald Trump created between himself and some of his defenders, after he launched a racist attack on four Democratic lawmakers that led to an equally racist chant at a North Carolina presidential rally, Fox News contributor Gerald Rivera admitted that he now finds it near impossible to defend the president.
In an interview with the New York Times that came after Rivera blew up on a fellow Fox News host over the "send her back" chant aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) the longtime Fox personality said he has all but given up on Trump.