WikiLeaks suggested on Sunday that its founder, Julian Assange, should lead the U.S.-Russian cyber security unit after President Trump announced the idea on Twitter.
“Why not put @JulianAssange in charge of it? He's trusted by the public and has the CIA's best stuff anyway,” WikiLeaks tweeted, replying to Trump’s tweet announcing he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the idea.
Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
The organization attached a link to a March press release announcing its new series of leaks targeting the CIA.
The tweets follow Trump's refusal to directly acknowledge Russian meddling in last year’s U.S. election.
Trump tweeted on Sunday that he pressed his Russian counterpart on the issue during their first official meeting.
However, Putin said in a press conference Trump had accepted his denials.
Trump and WikiLeaks have had a turbulent relationship since the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump said he “loved” WikiLeaks, in reference to the slew of leaks from former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE’s campaign last year.
“I love WikiLeaks,” Trump said at a rally. “It’s amazing how nothing is secret today when you talk about the internet.”
However, Trump as president has clashed with the organization over the issue of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified information about U.S. national security activities that were later disclosed by WikiLeaks.
The president called Manning an “ungrateful traitor,” and said she should not have been released from prison after her sentence was commuted by former President Obama.
WikiLeaks pushed back at Trump, saying he was “wrong” to criticize Manning.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo has targeted Assange directly in the past, calling him a "fraud" in April.
“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said.
“Assange is a narcissist who has created nothing of value,” the former Republican congressman charged. “He relies on the dirty work of others to make himself famous. He is a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen," he continued.
CNN reported in April the U.S. was preparing charges against Assange. He is currently living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in order to avoid extradition to the United States.