Spicer: ‘Big difference' between publishing Podesta emails and classified CIA files

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that there is a “big difference” between WikiLeaks publishing Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Women's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement MORE campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails and the site's recent release of classified CIA information.

During the presidential campaign, President Trump praised WikiLeaks and urged the group to continue publishing Podesta’s hacked emails, which U.S. intelligence agencies believe were obtained by Russian-backed hackers.

Spicer was asked Wednesday if Trump is still a fan of WikiLeaks, a day after the group published a massive trove of documents pertaining to the CIA’s hacking programs.

“There is a big difference between disclosing John Podesta’s Gmail accounts and the back-and-forth about his undermining of Hillary Clinton and his thoughts on her on a personal level, and of leaking classified information,” Spicer said.


The White House would not confirm the authenticity of the latest WikiLeaks documents, which appear to contain descriptions of hacking tools, engineering notes and internal communications from the CIA.

Spicer argued that there is a double standard, whereby Democrats and the press focus on national security leaks coming from within the administration about investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia but become hysterical when leaks hurt Democrats.

“There is a massive, massive difference between those two things, and I think it’s again, the interest and the outrage that occurred last year by Democrats about a lot of leaks, it’s interesting we’re hearing not as much outrage now when it comes to some of our issues of national security,” Spicer said.

Many Democrats believe that Hillary Clinton would have won the 2016 election if Russians had not hacked the Democratic National Committee and the personal email account of Podesta. 

Those email troves revealed embarrassing details about Democratic insider views of Clinton and revealed that some at the DNC had worked to undermine the insurgent campaign of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (I-Vt.).

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has been working furiously to plug leaks they blame on Obama-administration holdovers and “deep state” bureaucrats working to undermine them from within the federal government.