CNN Retracts Pedophile Claim Against Assange After Wikileaks Threatens Lawsuit

“An analyst on our air earlier today asserted that Julian Assange was a pedophile, and regrets saying it. In fact, CNN has no evidence to support that assertion.”
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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange appears at the window before speaking on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange appears at the window before speaking on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    MINNEAPOLIS — CNN apologized to Julian Assange on Wednesday after an on-air pundit accused the WikiLeaks founder of being a pedophile in the morning, but the network has so far failed to address a similar accusation made by another talking head later in the day.

    Philip Mudd, a former CIA agent and counterterrorism analyst on the network’s payroll, made the first false accusation during a Wednesday morning appearance on “New Day.”

    “I think there’s an effort to protect WikiLeaks from a pedophile who lives in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London,” Mudd said, referring to the WikiLeaks founder.

    WikiLeaks quickly fired back via social media, threatening a lawsuit against CNN.

    Later in the day, Mike Rogers, a CNN national security commentator with a background in Congress, the Army, and the FBI, appeared on “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” where he leveled allegations similar to Mudd’s.

    In a discussion of President-elect Donald Trump’s recent embrace of Assange, Rogers argued that Trump needs “someone to explain to him who Julian Assange is.”

    He continued:

    “I think if he knew all of the details — this person is wanted for rape of a minor. He is hiding in the basement of an embassy because he is a fugitive from justice, number one. Number two, he has released information harmful to the United States that I do believe jeopardize soldiers in the field.”

    Assange entered the Embassy of Ecuador in London on asylum in June of 2012, and he’s remained there ever since. Although never formally charged, he was wanted for questioning in Sweden on charges of sexual assault after he allegedly refused to wear a condom during sex with two adult women in 2010. Swedish officials had refused to question Assange at the embassy until November of 2016, and Assange feared that if he traveled to Sweden for questioning he would be subsequently extradited to the United States to face serious charges under a secret, ongoing grand jury.

    A United Nations panel ruled in February of 2016 that Assange’s confinement is considered “arbitrary detention” and ordered his immediate release. Despite the ruling and three days of questioning by Ingrid Isgren, Sweden’s deputy chief prosecutor, Assange remains in the embassy on threat of arrest should he ever set foot outside.

    No credible evidence has ever linked Assange to improper behavior against minors, but WikiLeaks’ tweets linked to a series of allegations made against him during the election by Todd & Clare, a Houston-based dating site, which accused Assange of attempting to contact an underage girl in the Bahamas for the purposes of sexual assault.

    Writing in October for McClatchy DC, Tim Johnson pointed out many inconsistencies in the story provided by Todd & Clare representatives and noted that the company had been granted unusual access to the United Nations. Johnson reported:

    “The company’s operating address is a warehouse loading dock in Houston. Its mail goes to a Houston drop box. Its phone numbers no longer work. WikiLeaks says Texas officials tell it the entity is not registered there either under toddandclare.com or a parent company, T&C Network Solutions.”

    Further, there was little or no evidence to support the allegations against Assange.

    In addition to deleting a tweet which contained a link to video of Mudd calling Assange a pedophile, “New Day” issued a retraction via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

    The statement read:

    “An analyst on our air earlier today asserted that Julian Assange was a pedophile, and regrets saying it. In fact, CNN has no evidence to support that assertion.”

    As of Thursday afternoon, however, no similar retraction had been made regarding Rogers’ comments.

    Assange and WikiLeaks have been targeted by a swell of attacks in the mainstream media since the site published extensive archives of emails taken from Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the private email account of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, during the election. Assange has repeatedly denied accusations that he is a Russian agent, and suggested Podesta’s email hacking should be attributed to poor security, not a government plot.

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    • Silverado

      More fake news from he radical left wing media drowning in their own hubris in this country that nobody listens to anymore. Kind of like Obama’s govt…

      • Krishna E. Bera

        CNN isnt radical and isnt left wing. Currently i see them as centrist cheerleaders for the elite and the war profiteers.

    • VaultDweller73

      Sue them anyway!

    • Suburuban Guy

      The retractions are not heard by the same people who heard the original allegations. I don’t understand why slander is so simply remedied with a single, simple retraction. Perhaps purchasing the front page or every newspaper in the world for 2 weeks and airing commercials every 30 minutes on every television station for 2 weeks would be more acceptable. Pedophilia is THAT serious an accusation. It should be THAT financially draining.

      • Krishna E. Bera

        the same person who said it needs to come on the air again and apologie but also be confronted with why he said that.

    • Irving Leonard Marsh

      He should get a medal. like the one barry gave himself

    • Will Wam

      Because Clinton lost the election the democratic wackos are lashing out with damaging lies. I hope Assange sues CNN and other media pawns and puts them out of business. I hope the voters realize the media is corrupt and can’t be trusted in the US.

    • Pingback: CNN Retracts Pedophile Claim Against Assange After Wikileaks Threatens Lawsuit “An analyst on our air earlier today asserted that Julian Assange was a pedophile, and regrets saying it. In fact, CNN has no evidence to support that assertion.” – L()

    • Paul Wolf

      It’s open season on Julian Assange after the ODNI Report released today blamed wikileaks and said the hacking and leaking were both set up by the GRU. No evidence of any of it was disclosed. Perhaps that is in the classified version, perhaps not.

    • Pingback: CNN Retracts Pedophile Claim Against Assange After Wikileaks Threatens Lawsuit: “An analyst on our air earlier today asserted that Julian Assange was a pedophile, and regrets saying it. In fact, CNN has no evidence to support that assertion.” -()

    • Norm

      Meanwhile, the plot thickens… http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article124566504.html

      “…it is a bizarre tale involving a Houston-based dating website and its global and well-funded efforts to discredit Assange around the globe. The byzantine saga involves disconnected telephones and mystery websites. Whoever is behind the dating site has marshaled significant resources to target Assange, enough to gain entry into a United Nations body, operate in countries in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, conduct surveillance on Assange’s lawyer in London, obtain the fax number of Canada’s prime minister and seek to prod a police inquiry in the Bahamas. The announcement opened the gates for a disparate crew of internet sleuths. Posting their findings on the discussion websites like Reddit.Com, they unearthed some curious coincidences. A perusal into the archives of the internet revealed that the Hammonds had once occupied a San Francisco building later rented to a company, Premise Data, whose co-founder has ties to Clinton and her top supporters…”

      • Jax8002 .

        Ahh…there it is! TY. Ironic that the podesta files clearly implicate hrc, the idiot in the oval office and the “fratelli podesta” in pedophilia, child murder and satanism. These are very, very bad people and they need to be incarcerated for the protection of children.

    • tapatio

      CNN has gone to the same moral level as Faux News……….yellow, trash “journalism”. Both vomit up whatever propaganda is convenient for the oligarchy.