WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange got a warm welcome, via satellite, on Fox News last night. Sean Hannity, who has been highly critical of Assange in the past, now couldn’t help but praise his “harsh words” for both Hillary Clinton and the mainstream media.
“Part of me, in the beginning, was conflicted about you,” Hannity said at the top of his interview with Assange on Tuesday night. This was a massive understatement.
Six years ago on his show, Hannity accused Assange of “waging war against the U.S.” by publishing secret diplomatic cables that he said put American lives in “jeopardy” and “danger” around the world. Hannity asked why the Obama administration hadn’t “arrested” Assange, wondering, why “we can stop pirating a music and Hollywood movies, but we can't stop this guy from stealing highly classified documents that puts people's lives at risk?”
On Tuesday, Hannity said his initial disagreement with Assange stemmed from the fact that he believes in “privacy,” including the importance of keeping emails private, which carried extra irony considered where the conversation was going. “On the other hand, you have done a lot of good in what you have exposed about how corrupt, dishonest and phony our government is and I applaud that,” the host said.
In late July, WikiLeaks released hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee that were believed to be obtained first through Russian intelligence services. Assange has not revealed any information about the source of the DNC hack or other potential Hillary Clinton-related material and Hannity, who has been “informally” advising Donald Trump, did not attempt to press him on the issue.
Before Assange made his opposition to Hillary Clinton known, Hannity viewed his organization’s work as “stealing highly classified documents.” Now that the two men are on the same political team, Hannity has suddenly become a true believer in WikiLeaks’ philosophy of radical transparency.
Later in the interview, Hannity helped Assange tease his promised revelations about Hillary Clinton, but he could not get his guest to elaborate on what those “batches” will contain and when we can expect to see them. He ended the segment by telling Assange, “I do hope you get free one day and wish you the best.”
So back when Assange was free, Hannity wanted him arrested. Now that he has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the past several years in order to avoid being charged for sexual assault by Swedish authorities, Hannity wants to see him exonerated.