WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says even a “14-year-old” could have hacked Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails.
Speaking exclusively to Fox News host Sean Hannity at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Assange discussed the Dec. 29 report by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, which alleged that Russia hacked the emails of both Podesta and the Democratic National Committee and gave the private communications to WikiLeaks.
“We published several … emails which show Podesta responding to a phishing email. Podesta gave out that his password was the word ‘password’. His own staff said this email that you’ve received, this is totally legitimate. So, this is something — a 14-year-old kid could have hacked Podesta that way,” Assange said during the interview, which aired Tuesday night.
The technician who told Podesta the phishing email was legitimate later said that was a typo and that he meant to say it was illegitimate.
Assange has been holed up in the embassy in London since 2012 to avoid being arrested for alleged sex crimes he committed in Sweden. Part of the reason Assange has not returned to Sweden to face trial is because he would then face the possibility of extradition to the U.S., where he currently faces no charges but fears authorities could arrest him for espionage, according to the Telegraph.
WikiLeaks released thousands of secret government documents in 2010, which it obtained from ex-U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who has since been convicted of espionage for the leak. The incident prompted debate over whether Assange, who is an Australian citizen, can or should be charged with espionage.
During his Hannity interview, Assange defended releasing the documents.
“The editor of The New York Times … has come out and said that he would do the same thing as WikiLeaks; if they had obtained that information, they would have published it,” Assange told Hannity, adding, “Unfortunately, I don’t believe that is true.”