WikiLeaks, a site famous for publishing illegally funneled classified information, has accused the Obama administration of “illegally funnelling” classified information to NBC for a report on new intelligence on Russian hacking efforts that aired Thursday night.
The Obama admin/CIA is illegally funneling TOP SECRET//COMINT information to NBC for political reasons before PEOTUS even gets to read it.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 6, 2017
WikiLeaks has since contrasted its long history of releasing politically relevant classified information with NBC’s report by calling the disclosures of the two anonymous intelligence officials cited a “pseudo-leak” allegedly authorized by the Obama administration for political reasons—namely, undermining incoming President-elect Trump.
#PseudoLeak (n): Where the White House authorizes officials to funnel anonymous claims to pet 'journalists' for political advantage.— WikiLeaks Task Force (@WLTaskForce) January 6, 2017
Many have found WikiLeaks’ subtle distinction between releasing illegally leaked classified information for political reasons on the one hand and releasing illegally leaked classified information for political reasons on the other unconvincing.
In which WikiLeaks denounces a leak of secret information undertaken for political purposes. https://t.co/Om4PM9CEdv— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) January 6, 2017
Wikileaks is, uh, complaining about a leak? 🤔 https://t.co/I6CzduIcUw— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) January 6, 2017
WikiLeaks was joined in its criticism of NBC’s report by President-elect Trump, who called interest in Russia’s hacking and apparent attempts to influence November’s election “a political witch hunt” in a Friday interview with the New York Times. Trump followed up the interview with a tweet, retweeted by WikiLeaks, calling for a House and Senate investigation of NBC’s report.
I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
On Friday, WikiLeaks also retweeted, as it periodically does, helpful instructions for those wishing to illegally funnel classified information for political reasons.