World

WikiLeaks practically owned by Russia: Clinton

SYDNEY Mrs Hillary Clinton yesterday accused WikiLeaks of working with Russia to deflect attention from an infamous tape of US President Donald Trump bragging about groping women in the run-up to the US election.

The former presidential candidate again lashed out at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his alleged role in damaging her candidacy.

"Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence."

The US intelligence community concluded Mr Putin ordered an influence campaign to discredit Clinton and had a "clear preference" for Mr Trump.

Mrs Clinton used the Trump tape as an example of how WikiLeaks allegedly tried to deflect attention away from a bad news story.

In the 2005 tape, which surfaced in October last year, Mr Trump brags about being able to get away with groping women.Within hours of the tape emerging, WikiLeaks published more than 2,000 hacked e-mails from the personal account of Mrs Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta, which she said blunted its impact.

Mrs Clinton said: "I have no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the tape."

Assange refuted Mrs Clinton on Twitter.

"There is something wrong with Clinton. It is not just her constant lying," the Australian tweeted with a link to the interview.

"Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen." - AFP

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