The US government quietly urged Ecuador to cut off internet access for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, according to intelligence officials who spoke with NBC News.
“It was a bit of an eviction notice,” one senior intelligence official said.
On Tuesday, amid a trove of new Clinton leaks and hacked emails from campaign manager John Podesta, the anti-secrecy organisation alleged that Secretary of State John Kerry asked for Assange’s internet to be cut off as he visited Colombia last month.
Citing intelligence officials, NBC News reported that the US asked Ecuador to stop “allowing Assange to carry water for Russian intelligence agencies, and that Ecuador, though run by a leftist, anti-American government, was receptive.”
The State Department has denied that charge.
“While our concerns about Wikileaks are longstanding, any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down Wikileaks is false,” a spokesman told the Daily Dot. “Reports that Secretary Kerry had conversations with Ecuadorian officials about this are simply untrue. Period.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Ecuador acknowledged on Tuesday it had cut off Assange’s internet access due to Wikileaks attempts to interfere with the US election. It said the decision was made without any outside pressure.
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