Pompeo called WikiLeaks' Julian Assange a coward and said he and Edward Snowden had done great harm to the U.S.
Pompeo called WikiLeaks' Julian Assange a coward and said he and Edward Snowden had done great harm to the U.S.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo Thursday called WikiLeaks, a "hostile intelligence agency" with ties to Russia, differing from earlier remarks made by President Donald Trump indicating he thought fondly of the website. 

"WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” he said, accusing WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Julian Assange and whistleblower Edward Snowden of doing "great harm to our nation's national security."

At his first public speech, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pompeo had harsh words for Assange, whom he characterized as "a fraud, a coward hiding behind a screen."

On the campaign trail, Trump had praised WikiLeaks—at one point saying “I love WikiLeaks”—for the steady drip of leaked emails and documents pilfered by Russian operatives from the Democratic National Committee (DNS) and others associated with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.