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Comey: WikiLeaks Is ‘Intelligence Porn,’ Not Journalism

• May 3, 2017 3:29 pm

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FBI Director James Comey distinguished WikiLeaks from a journalistic outlet on Wednesday, arguing the organization is more "about intelligence porn" than educating the public.

Comey castigated WikiLeaks while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) explained at the hearing that some people might confuse WikiLeaks with "a journalistic outfit" and asked Comey why he disagreed with that assessment.

"To my mind it crosses a line when it moves from being about trying to educate a public and instead just becomes about intelligence porn, frankly, just pushing out information about sources and methods without regard to interests," Comey said of WikiLeaks, adding that he strongly supports the First Amendment and a free press.

But WikiLeaks, according to Comey, also publicizes information "without regard to the First Amendment values that normally underlie press reporting, and simply becomes a conduit for the Russian intelligence services … just to push out information to damage the United States."

"There's nothing that even smells journalist about some of this content," the FBI chief added.

Wednesday's hearing focused on Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Congressional Democrats and some Republicans have suspected that WikiLeaks worked with Russia in 2016 to disadvantage former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The U.S. intelligence community has said Russia waged a cyber and disinformation campaign to influence the election and hurt Clinton's candidacy.

WikiLeaks has previously leaked sensitive U.S. intelligence, earning criticism from members of the Trump administration.

Comey's comments on Wednesday reflected CIA Director Mike Pompeo's recent declaration that WikiLeaks' past actions were not protected by the First Amendment.

Published under: CIA, FBI, James Comey, Russia, Wikileaks