- WikiLeaks sent a list of what it claims are 140 “false and defamatory” items to reporters about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
- The list includes denials of serious accusations against Assange, including that he’s a tool of Russian intelligence and that he’s the subject of rape allegations.
- But they also include denials of seemingly inconsequential details, including that he bleaches his hair and that he doesn’t wash his hands.
- Assange has been living in Ecuador’s embassy in London as a political refugee since 2012.
WikiLeaks sent an unsolicited email to reporters Sunday asking them to stop reporting a list of 140 “false and defamatory” statements about founder Julian Assange, ranging from Assange bleaching his hair to stories about him walking into meeting rooms at the Ecuadorian embassy in his underwear.
Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012, living there as a political refugee. He hasn’t left out of fear of legal extradition because of several leaks WikiLeaks has facilitated, and because of rape allegations he faced in Sweden (which have since been dropped). The US Department of Justice reportedly filed charges against Assange under seal, and some view WikiLeaks as a tool of Russian intelligence, given Russia’s interference in the United States 2016 presidential election and Wikileak’s role in releasing private emails from Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta.
But in the past few months, Assange’s place in the Ecuadorian embassy has been reportedly tense. According to The Guardian, employees are upset that Assange ruins the floors by skateboarding through the hallways, plays soccer on the grounds, and hasn’t consistently cleaned up after his cat (Assange set his cat free in November).
In its email, WikiLeaks listed 140 claims it says are false and defamatory about Assange. The list broadly denies negative behaviour on Assange’s part and called a report about Assange meeting with Paul Manafort the “nadir” of false coverage about him.
Most of the list is preoccupied with deflecting accusations that have often been lobbied against Assange. It denies he is an agent of any intelligence service, that he is “Russian owned,” and that he is in Ecuador’s embassy as anything other than a political refugee. It also denies that he communicated with Roger Stone in advance of the 2016 presidential election or that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked to interview him.
But the list also includes bizarre denials about his personal habits, and supposed events that are seldom discussed outside of the fringes of the conversation about him. It denies, for example, that there’s a “Russian plan” to “smuggle” Assange from the embassy in London, that he “drinks to excess,” and that his “mother is, or ever was, a ‘hippie.'” The denials are also obsessed with Assange’s personal hygiene.
Here’s a sampling from the full list, which was published by national security reporter Emma Best:
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange bleaches his hair.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever walked into embassy meeting rooms in his underwear.”
- It is false and defamatory to suggest that Ecuador suggested that Julian Assange did not look after his cat or asked him to improve his care of it.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever neglected an animal.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Ecuador asked Julian Assange to improve his hygiene.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever tortured a cat or dog.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange does not use cutlery or does not wash his hands.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange lives, or has ever lived, in a basement, cupboard or under the stairs.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange’s profession is “computer programmer.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks promoted or invented the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theory.”
- “It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange filed a lawsuit or any other measure against Ecuador over his pet cat, laundry or cleaning [in fact, his cat is not at the embassy since before the protection case was even filed].”
The list also includes self-promotional items that no one appears to be denying, like “It is false and defamatory to deny that Julian Assange is an award-winning editor, journalist, publisher, author and producer who has won the highest journalism award in his country, the Walkley, among many others.”
And while the list says that it is “false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever played soccer or used a skateboard during week days or office hours at the embassy,” it does not suggest that Assange hasn’t played soccer or shredded his skateboard outside of the embassy’s normal office hours.
- Read more:
- Ecuador’s embassy is mad that Julian Assange’s skateboarding habit is ruining their floors
- Julian Assange reportedly gave away his cat so it wouldn’t be trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy with him anymore
- The DOJ is reportedly preparing to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
- Paul Manafort forcefully denies explosive report that he secretly met with Julian Assange at the height of the 2016 campaign
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