Sean Hannity’s Relationship With WikiLeaks’ Assange Makes Hollow His Criticism Of Sen. Ben Sasse

On Wednesday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) criticized President Trump over his remarks regarding the appropriateness of challenging "[NBC’s] license." That same day, Fox News’ Sean Hannity tweeted that he regretted ever supporting Sasse, calling him "just useless."

Sasse and Hannity had a brief exchange on Twitter in which the senator asked if conservatives would like it if "a President Elizabeth Warren talk[ed] about censoring Fox News." Hannity responded by saying Sasse has "accomplished nothing in D.C." and calling him a "loser."

Hannity added:

It’s odd that Hannity is castigating Sasse about the leaking of "raw intel" when the Fox News host has praised WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, even asking him to guest-host his radio show.

Prior to 2016, Hannity had a negative view of Assange, once noting that "people may die" as a result of documents leaked by the organization.

In 2010, Hannity said the following about Assange and WikiLeaks:

Five months ago, 75,000 documents are released, including the names of 100 Afghans that are helping us privately identify Taliban leaders. So, all their lives have been put in jeopardy. Then, last month, month before, 390,000 classified documents. Now all of a sudden, there's outrage because ... this embarrasses the Obama administration, this embarrasses Hillary Clinton.

So, the fact that people may die didn't motivate them in the early stages of this when the guy telegraphed that he was going to release a lot more of these.

In 2016, following the damaging release of hacked DNC emails by WikiLeaks, Hannity interviewed Julian Assange, but his attitude toward the document leaker was markedly different than in years prior.

During the interview, Hannity told Assange that "part of me, in the beginning was conflicted about you — and I’ll tell you why. I believe in privacy ... on the other hand, you have done a lot of good in what you have exposed about how corrupt, dishonest, and phony our government is, and I applaud that."

Hannity interviewed Assange again in December 2016, telling the WikiLeaks founder, "America owes you a debt of gratitude."

In January 2017, during a third interview in London, Sean Hannity had the following exchange with Assange about leaking intel that might put someone’s life in jeopardy:

HANNITY: Where is the line for you? In other words, if lives are in jeopardy, is that a line? Privacy for individuals, is that a line?

ASSANGE: We are proud that there's not a single instance of anyone coming to physical harm as a result of our publications.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, have you made conscious decision as the founder and editor to withhold information because you thought the release of such information would result in somebody's death?

ASSANGE: ... where we thought there was a significant risk.

HANNITY: You're very conscious of that, and that's an ethical standard for you?

Here’s the video (the pertinent portion begins at the 33:30 mark):

Assange’s insistence that there’s "not a single instance of anyone coming to physical harm" due to a WikiLeaks document dump doesn’t mean people’s privacy hasn’t been violated, nor does it mean that WikiLeaks has not published information that presented the possibility of danger. Stories of privacy violations and people’s lives potentially being put on the line because of WikiLeaks can be found here, here, and here.

To be fair, Hannity’s change of perspective may be due to him seeing value in the beneficial leaks verses the damaging leaks. However, that doesn’t change what WikiLeaks has done in terms of privacy violations, as well as potentially placing lives in danger.

In the end, given his relationship with Julian Assange, Hannity might want to hold off on criticizing Sen. Sasse regarding his alleged lack of care over the leaking of intel.


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