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WikiLeaks Founder Assange Denies Trying To Influence U.S. Election

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has leaked thousands of U.S. Democratic party e-mails in recent weeks, denies trying to influence the U.S. election.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the group's publication of thousands of e-mails and documents linked to U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was not intended to influence the U.S. election.

"In recent months, WikiLeaks and I personally have come under enormous pressure to stop publishing what the Clinton campaign says about itself to itself," Assange said in a statement on November 8.

"This is not due to a personal desire to influence the outcome of the election."

Thousands of e-mails published by Wikileaks were hacked from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. Assange has never disclosed where he got the leaked e-mails.

But U.S. cybersecurity experts have fingered Russia-backed hackers as the primary suspects. and the FBI is investigating whether Russia was involved as part of its probe of leaked political documents this year.

But Assange denied any Russian connection in his statement.

"The Clinton campaign, when they were not spreading obvious untruths, pointed to unnamed sources or to speculative and vague statements from the intelligence community to suggest a nefarious allegiance with Russia," he said.

"The campaign was unable to invoke evidence about our publications -- because none exists."

Assange said Wikileaks did not publish leaked materials about Republican candidate Donald Trump because it had not obtained inside information about him.

"We cannot publish what we do not have," he said.

"We are seen as domain experts on Clinton archives. So it is natural that Clinton sources come to us," Assange said.

"No-one disputes the public importance of these publications," he added.

"It would be unconscionable for WikiLeaks to withhold such an archive from the public during an election."

Assange said WikiLeaks would continue to publish sensitive information regardless of who wins the U.S. election.

"The Democratic and Republican candidates have both expressed hostility towards whistleblowers," he said.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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