Speaker of the House Paul Ryan describes Wikileaks editor Julian Assange as a “sycophant” to the Russian government following the unsubstantiated claims that leaked emails published by Wikileaks came from Russia.
In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Ryan said that “he leaks, he steals data and compromises national security,” adding that he was a “sycophant for Russia.”
Ryan’s position seems to be in contrast to that of the President-elect Donald Trump, who wrote on Twitter earlier that the DNC had been “careless,” pointing to the fact that Assange has consistently claimed that Russia did not provide the leaked emails which he later published.
Julian Assange said "a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta" – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
However Ryan refused to comment on Trump’s position, saying that “the last thing I’m going to do is start commenting on every little tweet or Facebook post. That is just not what I do with the president-elect or when he’s president.”
“I think he has not received his Russia briefing yet. I believe that is scheduled for Friday, so hopefully he’ll get to up to speed on what has been happening and what Russia has or has not done. And he’ll be better informed on that.”
Ryan is not the only Republican to express concern over the claims that Russia interfered in the presidential election. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) and House Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul have both called for a probe into the claims, although recent reports suggest that they are now ending their calls for a formal investigation.
Last week, Barack Obama formerly accused Russia of interfering in the election, after he ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and their families, describing it as a “necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S .interests,” adding that “all Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions.”