White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Friday hit President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDems try to voice objections as Congress certifies Trump’s win California rep bashes Trump’s call for leak investigation White House criticizes Trump over Assange MORE for his “steadfast defense” of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, saying it made him question the sincerity of Trump’s call for a crackdown on intelligence leaks.
Earnest pointed to Trump’s tweets concerning Assange when asked about his demand for a congressional probe into leaks to NBC News about Russian hacking related to the 2016 presidential election.
“Two days after defending that person’s integrity, the president-elect is now expressing concern about the release of this information,” Earnest said.
The spokesman added that this “leads me to conclude his concerns are about something other than protecting classified information.”
Earlier Friday, the president-elect asked the chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence committees to investigate “top secret intelligence” that was obtained by NBC News.
Earnest would not confirm the veracity of the information and said it “is not material that was leaked to the public by the White House.”
Trump has quoted Assange’s claim that Russia did not provide WikiLeaks hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDems try to voice objections as Congress certifies Trump’s win White House criticizes Trump over Assange Ukraine hires lobby firm ahead of Trump inauguration MORE campaign chairman John Podesta, contrary to the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies.
But he said the notion that he supports Assange is an invention of the media.
“The dishonest media likes saying that I am in Agreement with Julian Assange — wrong,” Trump tweeted Thursday.
“I simply state what he states, it is for the people … to make up their own minds as to the truth. The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!”