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Assange upends Rohrabacher, denies he will reveal DNC emails source

Griffin Connolly, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Julian Assange appeared to dispute Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's assertion that he is ready to give up the source who provided his website, WikiLeaks, with the Democratic National Committee emails it published last July.

"WikiLeaks never has and never will reveal a source," Assange tweeted.

He was responding to a Daily Caller report that Rohrabacher and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul met to discuss a deal for Assange to out his source in exchange for a presidential pardon from Donald Trump.

"Offers have been made to me -- not the other way around. I do not speak to the public through third parties," Assange tweeted.

Assange's unequivocal denial contrasts sharply with the public statements of Rohrabacher, a Southern California Republican, who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has sought asylum since 2012.

Rohrabacher said in August the details of the meeting would have "an earth-shattering political impact" because they proved the Russian government had no role in providing WikiLeaks with the DNC emails.

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But Rohrabacher has declined to share those details without first securing a promise from Trump to pardon Assange.

Assange has repeatedly claimed Russian agents were not the source of the DNC emails that rankled Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and partly prompted House, Senate and special counsel investigations into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"We did not go into detail (about how WikiLeaks acquired Democratic emails), but that will obviously be something that will be provided in greater detail shortly," Rohrbacher told the Examiner in August. "There are some things we just have to go to the president with and see what he says, and then see how we can actually work its way so the American people know the truth."

Assange's denial this week could indicate Rohrabacher's efforts have been for naught. If Assange is no longer willing to give up his sources -- if he ever was in the first place -- that would effectively ax any potential deal.

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