Journalist Matt Drudge is a “media innovator” and has partially removed the “self-censorship” of the American press, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said in a question and answer session early Friday morning, while also revealing he is a “big admirer” of Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Speaking from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, controversial open-government proponent Assange, who is running for a Senate seat in Australia, lauded Drudge for “publishing information that the establishment press in the U.S. would not.”

Julian Assange

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange praised Matt Drudge in an interview early Friday morning. (AP)

“Matt Drudge is a news media innovator,” Assange, answering questions via Google Hangout, said. “It is as a result of the self censorship of the establishment press in the United States that gave Matt Drudge such a platform and so of course he should be applauded for breaking a lot of that censorship.”

Still, it wasn’t all high praise.

“As time has gone by Matt Drudge is mainly involved in collecting interesting rumors that look like they might be true and publishing it,” said Assange, adding that “social media has largely taken that place.”

Assange also enthusiastically praised America’s libertarian movement, saying it is the “only hope” to save the U.S.

“The libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice really in the U.S. Congress,” said Assange. “[I] am a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the U.S. Congress on a number of issues.”

The question and answer session was hosted by Australian transparency organization OurSay.org.

Watch the video here:

(H/T: Campus Reform)

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