CIA director Mike Pompeo branded Wikileaks “a hostile intelligence agency”
CIA director Mike Pompeo accused the whistle-blowing website of being a hostile force indicating the White House could perform a U-turn on the site.
Donald Trump praised the anti-secrecy site for publishing a series of private e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta during the 2016 election.
But Mr Trump’s ally Mr Pompeo launched a scathing attack on WikiLeaks during an appearance at a Washington think tank event.
WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service
CIA director Mike Pompeo
Mr Pompeo said: “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service.”
In March, WikiLeaks infuriated intelligence chiefs after publishing documents describing secret CIA hacking tools and snippets of computer code.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange threatened the group would provide technology companies with exclusive access to the CIA hacking tools it had so they could patch software flaws.
The release did not publish the full programmes that would be needed to conduct cyber exploits against phones, computers and internet-connected televisions.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials said contractors likely breached security and handed the documents to WikiLeaks.
CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a hostile force aided by Russia
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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has infuriated CIA bosses with different publications
Contractors have been revealed as the source of sensitive government information leaks in recent years, most notably Edward Snowden and Harold Martin, both employed by consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton while working for the National Security Agency.
Mr Pompeo went on to tell the audience that Russia's GRU intelligence service had used Wikileaks to distribute hacked material during the 2016 US presidential election.
Donald Trump praised the anti-secrecy site before taking office
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WikiLeaks released Democratic thousands of documents during the 2016 presidential campaign that US intelligence agencies say were hacked by Russia to try to tilt the election against Democratic candidate Mrs Clinton in favour of Republican Mr Trump.
Mr Assange insists the release was not intended to influence the election.