Meghan McCain to Sunny Hostin on Assange defense: 'Straight propaganda!'

Meghan McCain ripped fellow "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin on Thursday for defending WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, with McCain accusing Hostin of "straight propaganda" while declaring she hoped Assange "rots in hell."

The back-and-forth over whether Assange is a "cyber terrorist," as McCain said, or a journalist protected under freedom of speech laws comes after the 47-year-old Assange was arrested in London early Thursday at the behest of U.S. authorities who charged him in the release of classified information from former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

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"The politics of this have always been completely hypocritical on both sides,” McCain said, noting that President Obama’s attorney general, Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe most important pledge Democratic presidential candidates can make Congress and contempt: What you need to know Congress and contempt: What you need to know MORE, declined to prosecute Assange on the basis that WikiLeaks is essentially a “journalistic” organization.

“This is something that a lot of people who have put national security first — I put myself in that category — have been warning about and warning about and warning about,” she continued. "And the only time the Democrats started caring is when it started affecting them politically and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Trump: 'So sad' Democrats are putting Hope Hicks 'through hell' MORE's emails were released.”

When asked later what she hoped happened to Assange, McCain said she hopes "he rots in hell!"

“I think that if you have a problem with Julian Assange and what he released in terms of national security, then you need to have a problem with the Pentagon Papers, you need to have a problem with the Panama Papers, you need to have a problem with the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs being released,” Hostin, a former CNN legal analyst, argued. She added, “Our Constitution does protect Julian Assange."

“I’m sorry, I’ve got to push back hard on that," McCain interjected.

“You can push back after I’ve finished speaking,” Hostin answered.

After Hostin finished, McCain accused her of peddling propaganda.

“I think what you said was just straight propaganda, just so we’re clear,” McCain said.

“Well, if the law is propaganda, then I’m sorry," Hostin shot back.

Assange was federally charged for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion of a classified U.S. government computer, which carries a five-year maximum sentence.

The indictment released on Thursday indicates that Manning in 2010 downloaded classified information from four databases that contained approximately 90,000 Afghanistan War–related reports, 400,000 Iraq War–related reports, 800 Guantánamo Bay detainee assessment briefs and 250,000 State Department cables.

“Manning provided the records to agents of WikiLeaks so that WikiLeaks could publicly disclose them on its website,” the indictment reads. "WikiLeaks publicly released the vast majority of the classified records on its website in 2010 and 2011."

McCain, a former Fox News host who came to "The View" in 2017, has also sparred several times in the recent past with co-host with Joy Behar.