Yahoo! News reported that top officials in both the CIA and the Trump administration considered kidnapping or even assassinating the WikiLeaks founder. The plot came after Mr Assange’s website published information about “Vault 7,” the CIA’s sensitive hacking tools.
At the time, Mr Assange was staying at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden for rape allegations. The charges were dropped in May 2017.
Mr Trump had frequently praised WikiLeaks during the campaign trail after it revealed multiple emails from Democratic Party officials. He denied that he considered killing Mr Assange.
“It’s totally false, it never happened,” he said. “In fact, I think he’s been treated very badly.”
In 2019, Ecuador’s new government evicted Mr Assange and British police arrested him. Similarly, the United States indicted Mr Assange, mostly focusing on allegations that he assisted US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning break into a classified US government network.
Barry Pollack, Mr Assange’s lawyer, expressed outrage at the report.
“As an American citizen, I find it absolutely outrageous that our government would be contemplating kidnapping or assassinating somebody without any judicial process simply because he had published truthful information,” he told Yahoo! News.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies