MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The emails of former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, published by the WikiLeaks whistleblowing platform in 2016, were not hacked but legally obtained from the US State Department, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said.
"The 'thousands of Clinton emails' WikiLeaks published were not hacked but obtained from the U.S. State Department via the Freedom of Information Act ion 3 March 2016," Assange wrote on Twitter.
The 'thousands of Clinton emails' WikiLeaks published were not hacked but obtained from the U.S. State Department via the Freedom of Information Act ion 3 March 2016. https://t.co/RwcCuhokmN (the '2017' reference later in the document is a typo) #Papadopoulos pic.twitter.com/MEdrXY6uJz— Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange) October 30, 2017
In March 2016, WikiLeaks released an archive of more than 30,000 emails that have been sent to and from Clinton’s private email server during her term as the US Secretary of State in 2009-2013.
Later in 2016, the website also published nearly 20,000 emails apparently hacked from the US Democratic National Committee, as well as emails hacked from the account of Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta.
Several US intelligence agencies said they suspected Russia to be behind the leaks, but provided no evidence to support the claims. Moscow has called the claims of the election interference absurd and a distraction from actual election fraud.