Holy cow, this story keeps going back and forth. I’m getting whiplash. First, Wikileaks said Ecuador cut Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s internet access at its embassy in London. Then the anti-secrecy website said sources claimed Secretary of State John Kerry did it. Today the Ecuadorian government said it cut the internet to stop the website from influencing the presidential election since Wikileaks has been publishing Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails.

Now NBC reports that the U.S. did have a hand in the internet outage “after U.S. officials conveyed their conclusion that Assange is a willing participant in a Russian intelligence operation to undermine the U.S. presidential election.”

NBC reported:

U.S. intelligence officials believe Assange knows he is getting the information from Russian intelligence, though they do not believe he is involved in helping plan the hacking, officials told NBC.

“The general view is he is a willing participant in the Russian scheme but not an active plotter in it. They just realized they could use him,” said a senior intelligence official.

It turns out that Ecuador has grown “frustrated with Assange and his presence at the embassy.” The government stated:

“The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” Ecuador said in a statement.

“Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”

The embassy agreed to give Assange asylum in 2012 at its London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape charges.

The snafu occurred over the weekend after the site published three Goldman Sachs interviews from Hillary. Wikileaks confirmed Assange lost internet at the embassy, but when media outlets asked for a comment, the Ecuadorians refused to say anything.

On Tuesday, Wikileaks said that multiple sources claimed that Secretary of State John Kerry asked the Ecuadorian government to cut off Assange’s internet while he helped the Colombian government negotiate a peace deal with FARC. The State Department quickly denied the accusations:

“While our concerns about WikiLeaks are longstanding, any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down WikiLeaks is false,” [State Department spokesman John] Kirby said. “Reports that Secretary Kerry had conversations with Ecuadorian officials about this are simply untrue. Period.”

However, the Ecuadorian officials said on Monday:

Translation: “Faced with speculation of the last hours, the government of Ecuador reaffirms the validity of granted asylum to Julian Assange four years ago. We reaffirm that the protection of the Ecuadorian state will continue while the circumstances that led to the granting of the asylum remain.”

I don’t see anyone resolving this anytime soon. Despite all this, Wikileaks continues to dump Podesta emails on a daily basis.


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