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WikiLeaks slams CIA director for trying to

CNN - Eli Watkins 17/04/2017

CIA director slams WikiLeaks, Assange. Video: CNN

CIA director slams WikiLeaks, Assange. Video: CNN

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange responded Friday to criticism from CIA Director Mike Pompeo, calling Pompeo's remarks "dangerous" and an attempt to "stifle speech."

"Director Pompeo's statement sought not only to threaten Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks, but to definitively subvert the First Amendment and fundamental notions that are intrinsic to American democracy," the statement said.

The statement went on to compare Pompeo's "attempts to demonize" Assange as on par with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier in the week, Pompeo gave a speech railing against WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service."

Pompeo's appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, among his first forays into the public eye since being confirmed CIA director, came several months after WikiLeaks' publishing stolen emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta as well as the Democratic National Committee and just over a month since WikiLeaks published a trove of files it said were from the CIA.

The CIA has neither confirmed nor denied their veracity.

In his Thursday speech, Pompeo accused WikiLeaks, Assange and Edward Snowden, a former contractor who leaked NSA documents to journalists, of disseminating classified information to "make a name for themselves."

Pompeo has in the past called for Snowden to receive the death penalty.

He said people at the CIA found praise for WikiLeaks "both perplexing and deeply troubling."

"As long as they make a splash, they care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security," Pompeo said. "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors, like Russia."

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