CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Thursday at a discussion on international affairs at an event organized by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, "There are an awful lot of former CIA talking heads on TV and I just urge everyone who has sworn to protect this information to understand that their obligation far extends beyond the day you turn in your badge at the CIA." He said, moreover, that WikiLeaks is "an enormous threat" that the CIA is "working to take down."

In questions posed about leaks from the Trump administration, Pompeo dismissed the notion that they have reached an unstoppable momentum. "We're good. We're America. We're the CIA. We can protect our stuff," Pompeo said. "I'm confident we can do it. We will devote the resources to it, we will make sure that the people who are working for the agency have an understanding of what that means."

Later, the former Kansas congressman -- who once described WikiLeaks as a "non-state hostile intelligence service" — described WikiLeaks as an "enormous threat." WikiLeaks was founded by Julian Assange, who remains as a guest at the embassy of Ecuador in London. US officials want to interview him about a series of leaks of classifed US information. "It's not just the Russian info ops," Pompeo said. "I talked about these non-state actors, and it's not just Wikileaks. Indeed I may have overemphasized them — they are an enormous threat, we are working to take down that threat to the United States as well, to reduce the threat from all of it. But Hezbollah, ISIS, al Qaeda, none of them sit at the U.N., these are all non-state actors."

Wikileaks's fans consider it is a journalism outlet. Pompeo did not say how the CIA seeks "to take down" WikiLeaks. However, he has suggested in the past that there are no First Amendment protections for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — who oversaw publication of U.S. diplomatic and military documents shared by former Army private Chelsea Manning in 2010. During the presidential election in 2016, WikiLeaks published hacked Democratic party emails that the U.S. government claims came from Russia.

Steven Nelson Julian Assange Mike Pompeo James Clapper Donald Trump WikiLeaks National Security CIA White House News Politics
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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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