Trump’s CIA Director: Wikileaks Is A ‘Hostile Intelligence Service’

CIA Director-designate Rep. Michael Pompeo, R-Kan. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Seated behind Pompeo is his wife Susan Pompeo, right, and their son Nick, left. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Thursday said that Wikileaks is “a non-state hostile intelligence service,” though on the campaign trail President Donald Trump praised the organization for publishing information undercutting Hillary Clinton.

“Wikileaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” Pompeo said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, his first public remarks since being sworn in as CIA director.

Pompeo said that Wikileaks “has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence.”

It overwhelmingly focuses on the United States while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations,” he said. “It’s time to call out Wikileaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often embedded by state actors like Russia.”

Trump often cited Wikileaks on the campaign trail. By ThinkProgress’ count, he mentioned the organization at least 164 times in 2016 in the month before Election Day.

“I’ll tell you, this Wikileaks stuff is unbelievable,” Trump said in October, and added on a separate occasion: “We love Wikileaks. Wikileaks. They have revealed a lot.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK