Copyright ©2017 Guacamoley. All rights reserved.
NBC/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton Slams Julian Assange And WikiLeaks As A "Tool Of Russian Intelligence"

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Wikileaks' Julian Assange have a tumultuous past, to say the least. During the 2016 election, Wikileaks unabashedly took aim at Clinton, releasing hacked emails that revealed corruption within the Democratic National Committee (specifically, DNC officials' efforts to work the system in Clinton's favor and push out primary competitor Bernie Sanders), which led to the resignation of DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Clinton is upping the ante post-election, however.

During an interview with the Australian TV program 4 Corners, Clinton claimed Assange was an agent of Russia:

I think Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator.

When asked how she sees Assange, who many view as a martyr for free speech, Clinton responded:

I mean, he's a tool of Russian intelligence, and if he's such a martyr of free speech why doesn't Wikileaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?

In response to how Assange and Wikileaks differ from regular reporters, simply publishing the facts for the American people, Clinton focused on Assange's sources and tactics. Claiming things might be different if "all [he] did was publish it," Clinton pointed out much of Assange's information was stolen rather than given, and that it was released at specific times to "weaponize it" against her campaign. She specifically pointed out the timing of Wikileaks' release of the John Podesta emails.

Clinton said the Podesta emails were meant to soften the blow of Trump's Access Hollywood tape:

I've no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the Hollywood Access tape.

And Clinton believes Wikileaks' interference in the election goes even further than that:

I lost the electoral college by about 77,000, and what we're finding out is that there had to be some very sophisticated help provided to WikiLeaks ... to know how to target both their messages of suppression and their negative messages to affect voters.

Assange responded on Twitter to Clinton's allegations:

It looks like Assange and Clinton won't be mending their relationship any time soon. Perhaps someone could organize a couples counseling session? It will have to be done over Skype, however, since Assange remains trapped in London's Ecuadorian Embassy, protected by laws of asylum and avoiding extradition to the United States.

H/T - Mashable, Twitter