WikiLeaks tells media organizations what not to report about Julian Assange: report

Online publisher WikiLeaks has reportedly instructed media organizations not to report what it calls “false and defamatory” statements about founder Julian Assange.

In an email sent Sunday, WikiLeaks listed 140 statements that it said journalists should not publish, according to Reuters.

Among the assertions that WikiLeaks labeled “false” or “defamatory” were allegations that Assange had ever been an "agent or officer of any intelligence service” or has close ties to the Kremlin or Russian President Vladimir Putin.


"There is a pervasive climate of inaccurate claims about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including purposeful fabrications planted in large and otherwise 'reputable' media outlets," the email read, according to Reuters.

"Consequently journalists and publishers have a clear responsibility to carefully fact-check from primary sources and to consult the following list to ensure they are not spreading, and have not spread, defamatory falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange."

The email was labeled “Confidential legal communication. Not for publication."

The 47-year-old Assange last month rejected a deal between Ecuador and the United Kingdom that would allow him to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived since 2012. 

Assange’s lawyer said that the deal did not protect Assange from being extradited to the U.S., where he has been under investigation for WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of classified reports on the war in Afghanistan that were leaked by Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

The Justice Department is also apparently prepared to file charges against Assange related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s Russia investigation. 

Assange said last month that he believes Ecuador is trying to end his asylum at the embassy after imposing new rules on him, including cleaning the bathroom and taking care of his pet cat.

The Sunday email to reporters also listed as “false and defamatory” claims that Assange has poor personal hygiene, has ever neglected an animal and that he bleaches his hair.

Assange fled to the embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he faced sexual assault allegations in a case that has since been dropped.