Fox News host Sean Hannity is changing his tune on Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, now that he’s attacking Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Assange appeared on Hannity on Tuesday, where he announced that Wikileaks would soon release documents related to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In turn, Hannity praised Assange for his work — despite once having called for his arrest.
“Part of me in the beginning was conflicted about you, and I’ll tell you why,” Hannity said on the show. “I believe in privacy. I believe that people — especially when it comes to private emails, personal emails, etcetera — I think that people have a right to that privacy. On the other hand, you have done a lot of good on what you have exposed about how corrupt, dishonest, and phony our government is, and I applaud that. I think it’s good that we know that.”
As Media Matters reported, Hannity called for Assange’s arrest in 2010, after Wikileaks released a quarter of a million confidential U.S. diplomatic cables. Hannity said that in doing so, Assange was clearly “not done waging his war against the U.S.”
An excerpt of his comments on an episode of Hannity in 2010, published by Media Matters, appears below:
SEAN HANNITY: All right. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will make an appearance before a British judge tomorrow. Now the appearance is related to sexual assault charges that he’s facing in Sweden. Now this news comes just as there’s word that Assange is apparently not done waging his war against the U.S., at least not yet.
Revealing their identities, helping us and cooperating with us in our battle against the Taliban. These are real lives that are now in jeopardy and in danger. That was step one.
Then 390,000 other documents were released. Many of them classified documents. And now we have this. What is — why? Why didn’t they go after this guy and why didn’t they arrest him? Why didn’t they stop this from being published when we had so much time to do it?
Why can’t Obama do something about the Wikileaks? We got this four months ago. You know, 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?
Since then, Assange has clearly stated that he doesn’t like Hillary Clinton, who he has said is “a bit of a problem for freedom of the press.” And in July, Wikleaks published hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ahead of the Democratic National Convention.
Assange also promised more leaks that would hurt the Democratic Party on Tuesday, which is what likely garnered Hannity’s praise — and the invite to appear on the show in the first place.
“The first batch is reasonably soon,” Assange said. “We’re quite confident about it now… We might put out some teasers as early as next week or the week after.”
“I do hope you get free one day,” Hannity said at the end of the interview. “I wish you the best.”
Assange also appeared on Fox News with Megyn Kelly last month, where he similarly declared that a “significant leak” would come before the election in November.