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Assange says WikiLeaks not trying to influence US election

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said on Tuesday the group’s publication of material linked to Hillary Clinton was not based on any desire to influence the U.S. election.

“In recent months, WikiLeaks and I personally have come under enormous pressure to stop publishing what the Clinton campaign says about itself to itself,” Assange said in a statement released by his legal adviser at the Web Summit, a tech conference in Lisbon.

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“This is not due to a personal desire to influence the outcome of the election.”

WikiLeaks has in the past few months published thousands of emails hacked from John Podesta, Democrat candidate Clinton’s campaign manager.

Assange said Wikileaks had obtained no inside information about Republican candidate Donald Trump.

“We cannot publish what we do not have,” he said.

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“We are seen as domain experts on Clinton archives. So it is natural that Clinton sources come to us,” Assange said.

“No-one disputes the public importance of these publications,” he added.

“It would be unconscionable for WikiLeaks to withhold such an archive from the public during an election.”

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Assange said WikiLeaks would continue to publish sensitive information regardless of who wins the U.S. election.

“The Democratic and Republican candidates have both expressed hostility towards whistleblowers,” he said.

Assange has been living in Ecuador’s London embassy since mid-2012. A few weeks ago Ecuador’s government acknowledged it had restricted his Internet access, arousing speculation it had been pressured by the United States because of the Clinton material.

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(Editing by Andrew Roche)


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Elections 2016

Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base

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While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support

The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.

Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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