(USA Features) Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is refuting details of bombshell Yahoo News story last week claiming that when he was head of the CIA he and other agency officials plotted to kidnap WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and maybe even assassinate him.
The story claimed that Pompeo, then as CIA director, was furious, as were with other agency officials, over WikiLeaks’ dissemination of highly classified hacking tools collectively known as “Vault 7,” and that shortly after he and then-President Donald Trump took office, he and “senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration” discussed killing Assange, “going so far as to request ‘sketches’ or ‘options’ for how to assassinate him.”
In fact, “one scenario allegedly detailed a London shootout with Russian agents who supposedly wanted Assange for themselves,” The Blaze noted.
“Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred ‘at the highest levels’ of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. ‘There seemed to be no boundaries,'” the Yahoo News report stated.
But in an interview with talk radio host and Blaze Media founder Glenn Beck, Pompeo pushed back on the claims somewhat, questioning the report’s sources more than anything.
“I couldn’t tell you who they have as their sources, but those sources didn’t know what we were doing,” Pompeo told Beck.
Former CIA director @mikepompeo gives me his response to a new report from Yahoo News alleging Trump's CIA considered kidnapping or assassinating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange:
"Those sources DIDN'T KNOW what we were doing." pic.twitter.com/JQBZnTBTqM
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) September 27, 2021
Pompeo, who would go on to become America’s top diplomat under Trump, went on to say that “there are many stories out there now about how the president and I were engaged in things that were crazy,” including one about how “there was an effort to drop a nuclear weapon on China in the last weeks of the administration.”
“This story is of that same ilk,” he added.
The former Trump official and U.S. lawmaker did say, however, that he and the administration were looking for ways to stop leaks of sensitive, classified information.
“We were very worried about the fact that we had bad actors who were stealing really, really sensitive material from the United States, and I make no apologies for the fact that we in the administration were working diligently to make sure that we were able to protect this important, sensitive information from whether it was cyber actors in Russia or the Chinese military or anyone,” he said.
He added that bad actors weren’t just stealing “commercial stuff like intellectual property theft, but real national security secrets.”
In 2017, Pompeo described WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence entity,” and used the same terminology in his interview with The Blaze founder.
“They weren’t engaged in even crappy reporting like Isikoff does,” he quipped, referring to one of the Yahoo News reporters, Michael Isikoff.
“They were engaged in active efforts to steal secrets themselves and pay others to do the same in a way that violated … U.S. law,” Pompeo said.
“I’m all about a big, bold, strong First Amendment, but these folks were acting in ways that were deeply inconsistent with that,” he concluded.