Once again, Sean Hannity is siding with Russia-collaborator Julian Assange over the United States. This time, Hannity teamed up with WikiLeaks ally Roger Stone.
You may recall that Hannity had to be pried away from repeatedly promoting a baseless conspiracy theory trying to pin murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the leaker of DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign. That was months after a U.S. intelligence report said in January, "We assess with high confidence that the GRU [Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate] relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks."
It was also months Assange provided a weasel answer about his source during his January interview with Hannity. In fact, Hannity played that clip last night:
HANNITY: Did Russia give you this information or anybody associated with Russia?
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Our source is not a state party. So, the answer for our interactions is no.
HANNITY: You did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta's emails, can you tell the American people 1,000 percent you did not get it from Russia or anyone associated with Russia?
ASSANGE: We can say, we have said repeatedly over the last two months, that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.
It’s hard to believe that even Hannity was too stupid to notice Assange's dodge about "anybody associated with Russia."
Yet, Hannity replayed that clip last night as “proof” that, as he put it, “The mainstream media will stop at nothing to try and tie President Trump and his associates to all things Russia.”
That was Hannity’s set up for his palsy interview with Stone. There was a good amount of time spent on Stone’s mentee, Sam Nunberg, of course. None on the recently-published private Twitter messages between Stone and Wikileaks. They show, as Atlantic reporter Natasha Bertrand noted, that Stone “considered himself a ‘friend’ of WikiLeaks, which was branded a ‘non-state hostile intelligence service’ by CIA Director Mike Pompeo last April.”
Instead, Hannity and Stone sang the praises of Assange:
STONE: Well, when I said on MSNBC tonight that I did not believe that Julian Assange was a Russian agent and I didn't believe that WikiLeaks is a Russian asset, I think he is an honest journalist. No one has questioned the authenticity or the accuracy of any of the materials that WikiLeaks has released.
HANNITY: 11 years --
STONE: Their whole promise -- their false premise --
HANNITY: 11 years they've never gotten a thing wrong. That is a far better track records than the three major networks, MSNBC, CNN, 'Washington Post' and the New York Times. Not once that I have ever seen that they get it wrong.
STONE: That is exactly right. This entire narrative is based on a false premise from our politicized intelligence agencies that Julian Assange is a Russian agent. No, he is a courageous journalist who has an incredible track record for accuracy and authenticity.
Watch Hannity show more love for "non-state hostile intelligence service" WikiLeaks while hating on American media below, from the March 6, 2017 Hannity.
(Transcript excerpts via FoxNews.com, with my emphases)
Both should be left in a crow’s cage in Times Square.
Assange’s account of how he got ahold of the Clinton emails has been fishy from the beginning. He knows exactly what he’s saying – he just makes sure that he doesn’t say that Putin himself gave him the materials.
Stone is an even bigger coward and a dodge. In this interview, Stone plays all the same games that Assange does – he lists off all the various options of people who didn’t give him information. But he doesn’t say that he didn’t get any information. He just leaves out the categories of those who DID give him that information – without which he could not have published those gloating tweets or whatever when he was aware ahead of time that more WikiLeaks material was coming out.
I honestly don’t know when Stone will be hauled in by Mueller – I think he’s a much smaller figure than he’d like to be thought of, and Mueller hasn’t moved into his area just yet. Based on Mueller’s pattern, he’s building toward the hackers, and then to the document theft, and then to who knew about it, which would lead into the Trump campaign and thus to Stone. It will be interesting to see how Hannity reacts after Stone does get hauled in…