The View’s Meghan McCain blames Obama for Assange -- and calls First Amendment rulings ‘straight propaganda’
Meghan McCain (ABC)

"The View" co-host Meghan McCain got repeatedly shut down for trying to blame Julian Assange on Democrats, after the WikiLeaks founder was arrested for allegedly conspiring to hack the U.S. Department of Defense.


Co-host Abby Huntsman pointed out that President Donald Trump had changed his tune on Assange, calling for the death penalty for publishing classified information in 2010, then repeatedly praising him as WikiLeaks went after Hillary Clinton, and then his administration prosecuted him.

"(Barack) Obama and (Eric) Holder could have done it the year before, and they punted it," Huntsman said. "That's where I get confused. You hear Trump praising the guy, and then they prosecute."

McCain waded in to accuse both sides of hypocrisy.

"Eric Holder didn't pursue prosecution of Assange (over) concerns that WikiLeaks was, quote, a journalistic organization that would raise First Amendment issues," McCain said. "Chelsea Manning was granted clemency. Chelsea Manning in 2010 released 750,000 classified and sensitive documents that put national security documents. Under the Obama administration, she was given clemency."

"This is something that people who put national security first," she continued, "I put myself in that category, a lot of people have been warning about and warning about and warning about, and the only time the Democrats started caring is when it affected them politically and Hillary Clinton's emails were released and John Podesta's emails were released."

Host Whoopi Goldberg interrupted and tried to steer her back on topic.

"What's going to happen with him?" Goldberg said. "That's my question."

McCain said she hoped Assange rotted in hell, and co-host Sunny Hostin asked for a chance to discuss the law.

"I think if you have a problem with Julian Assange and what he released in terms of national security, then you need to have a problem with the Pentagon Papers, the Panama Papers, you need to have a problem with the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs being released," Hostin said. "Those items being released protected our democracy. The reason the Obama administration and Eric Holder decided -- not to punt, but decided the Constitution protected Julian Assange because our constitution does protect Julian Assange."

McCain interrupted: "I have to push back hard."

Hostin parried: "Excuse me. You can after I'm finished speaking."

"The Constitution protects freedom of the press," Hostin continued. "It's our First Amendment to the Constitution, I believe it's our most important amendment. So it's very clear that the Constitution protects information, investigative journalism, even if that information is gotten illegally, even if that information is a matter of national security."

McCain was livid: "What you said was straight propaganda just so we're clear. I'm sorry."

Hostin fired back: "The law is propaganda? I'm sorry."