The State Department today flatly denied a WikiLeaks allegation that it encouraged the Ecuadorian government to shut down Julian Assange’s internet connection.
WikiLeaks, citing “multiple U.S. sources,” said early today that Secretary of State John Kerry pressured Ecuador — which has hosted Assange in its London embassy since 2012 — to cut off Assange’s internet before he could publish more hacked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
But State Department spokesman John Kirby flatly rejected the accusation in a statement.
“While our concerns about WikiLeaks are longstanding, any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down WikiLeaks is false,” Kirby said. “Reports that Secretary Kerry had conversations with Ecuadorian officials about this are simply untrue. Period.”
WikiLeaks alleged that Kerry’s request to Ecuador occurred in Colombia on the sidelines of peace negotiations between the government and FARC rebels.
According to WikiLeaks, Assange’s internet went out on Saturday, shortly after the activist site published the apparent full transcripts of speeches Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs.
WikiLeaks stood by its accusation, telling POLITICO that Kerry had threatened "consequences" if Ecuador didn’t step in.
"He’s lying and he knows he’s lying," the group said in a Twitter DM.