CNN Kinda Sorta Implies That Julian Assange Was a Russian Agent

CNN has a big story today about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his seven years spent living in the Ecuadorian embassy. Apparently the Ecuadorians became suspicious of Assange fairly quickly and kept him under regular surveillance. The CNN reporters got hold of a report that Ecuador commissioned from UC Global, a private Spanish security company, and notes over and over in its story that Assange interacted frequently with Russian agents.

But I think we’ve known that for a long time. The question is whether or not Assange knew they were Russians. The CNN piece has exactly one sentence about that:

After the election, the private security company prepared an assessment of Assange’s allegiances. That report, which included open-source information, concluded there was “no doubt that there is evidence” that Assange had ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

Well, sure, there’s no doubt that “there is evidence,” but how strong is the evidence? What is it based on? Is UC Global’s analysis trustworthy? I would be entirely unsurprised if Assange knew who he was dealing with all along, but there’s nothing much here to demonstrate that. At the very least, I’d like to see some of the context around those six words. This is a mighty big accusation to hang on a mighty small excerpt.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.