Pence: Trump remarks about DNC hacks was 'never an endorsement' of WikiLeaks

Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceFive years after Yazidi genocide, US warns ISIS is rebounding Log Cabin Republicans endorse Trump Pence to travel to United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland in September MORE said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE never indicated his support for WikiLeaks or its founder Julian Assange when speaking about the Democratic National Committee hacks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Pence, speaking in an interview that aired Friday on CNN, condemned Assange following his arrest in London and reports of his possible extradition to the United States for charges of computer hacking.

Speaking with CNN's Dana Bash, the vice president asserted that Trump's favorable comments in 2016 appearing to urge Russia to hack then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAre Democrats turning Trump-like? The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE's emails was not a direct endorsement of the anti-secrecy organization operated by Assange, which had previously published information on U.S. military operations in the Middle East.

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Bash said that when Trump was running for president, he "welcomed seeing WikiLeaks and the information that they got from Hillary Clinton" before asking if the president's viewpoint has changed.

"I think the president always, as you in the media do, always welcomes information," Pence told CNN. "But that was in no way an endorsement."

WikiLeaks was most famously known before the 2016 election for its role in publishing documents leaked by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, including evidence that U.S. forces were involved in the killing of civilians in Iraq in an attack that also killed two Reuters employees.

Pence said in the interview that the documents published by WikiLeaks represented "one of the greatest compromises of classified information in American history."

It "literally put American military personnel at risk," Pence added. "We'll hold him to account in the American justice system."

His comments come despite remarks Trump made at a campaign rally late in the 2016 race, where he told a crowd in Pennsylvania, “Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks.”

“Getting off the plane, they were just announcing new WikiLeaks, and I wanted to stay there, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting,” he said at the time.

Manning is currently imprisoned after being jailed for contempt of court in March for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks and Assange. The whistleblower was recently removed from solitary confinement after pressure by lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJoseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts The latest victims of the far-left's environmental zealotry: Long Islanders Ocasio-Cortez brushes off Trump tweet claiming she is 'fuming' over Tlaib, Omar attention MORE (D-N.Y.).