WikiLeaks clarifies Julian Assange’s claim to Bill Maher on hacking Trump


WikiLeaks claims Julian Assange’s assertion to Bill Maher that they’re “working on” hacking Donald Trump’s tax returns was a joke.

Bill Maher sparred with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the most recent episode of HBO’s Real Time for going after Hillary Clinton and the DNC, while sparing Donald Trump, who has repeatedly refused to release his tax returns. This prompted Assange to say at the end of the satellite interview that they were currently “working on” hacking into the Republican nominee’s tax returns. However, the organization has since walked back his remarks, releasing a statement on Saturday claiming that Assange’s comments were in jest, tweeting:

Trump has claimed that he’s been advised not to release his tax returns because he’s currently being audited by the IRS, even though it’s been a common practice for presidential candidates going back to the 1970s, spurring speculation that the documents may show that he has business ties to Russia. Meanwhile, Assange, who used to host a talk show on the Russian government-funded RT network, has pledged to release more documents that could be damaging to Clinton’s campaign.

During the contentious interview, Maher also questioned whether leaking thousands of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee, which resulted in the resignation of chairwoman Debbbie Wasserman Schultz and other officials, was appropriate given that it’s a private organization, and he addressed Russia’s alleged involvement in the hacking.

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“Obviously we know these came from Russia and we also know that you don’t like Hillary Clinton, as does not Vladimir Putin,” Maher said. “So it looks like you are working with a bad actor to put your thumb on the scale and basically f— with the one person who stands in the way of us being ruled by Donald Trump.”

Maher also brought up NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s criticisms of WikiLeaks, while Assange attempted a “gotcha moment” by revealing that they had discovered a $1 million donation from a William Maher in Los Angeles to “a Clinton-affiliated entity.”

The host confirmed that he donated the amount to an Obama SuperPAC in 2012, which he did in a very public manner, but denied that he would be doing the same thing this year.

“F— no,” he responded when asked whether he’d donate another million to Clinton. “I can’t give a million dollars anytime somebody runs for president.”

Watch the full interview with Assange below:

Next: Bill Maher rips 'Bernie Bros,' Rachel Maddow on Real Time

Like most of the other late-night talks shows, Real Time with Bill Maher, which has just been renewed for two more seasons, will be taking the rest of the month off, but will return with new episodes starting Friday, September 16 at 10 p.m. on HBO with such guests as conservatives Ralph Reed and Margaret Hoover.