Fox News host Tucker Carlson has joined the global campaign defending the past actions of Julian Assange and asking President Trump to pardon him. The TV host argued during his programme on 17 December that Assange was engaged in nothing more than regular journalism by providing important information to WikiLeaks' readers.
"Whatever you think of Julian Assange and what he did, he is effectively a journalist. He took information and he put it in a place the public could read it", Tucker said.
Tucker stressed that the US government is seeking to put Assange in jail over releasing documents he did not steal, although American prosecutors are trying to prove otherwise. The Fox anchor went on to stress that despite WikiLeaks exposing massive surveillance on US citizens, purportedly referring to the 2017 "Vault 7" leak of tools used by the CIA to hack into users' gadgets, none of the people involved in it were "punished", unlike Assange.
At the end of his speech, Tucker alleged that the US president "probably does want to pardon" Assange without elaborating on his guess. The Fox host quickly added that there are also "sinister people", who want the opposite.
Global Campaign to Pardon the WikiLeaks Founder
Tucker became the latest public person to urge Trump to pardon Assange, who is currently jailed in a UK prison and awaiting the results of his extradition trial. Over the last few weeks his fan and former actress Pamela Anderson, another whistleblower Edward Snowden, US Democratic lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard, and Australian lawmaker George Christensen have issued similar calls seeking to convince Trump to let Assange off the US hook.
We Are Millions: We Are Julian Assange! @orbooks' panel event launching a new book of portraits of Assange supporters around the world: https://t.co/jzjQLTnWLN— Pamela Anderson (@pamfoundation) December 7, 2020
Get the book here, with proceeds supporting @CourageFound https://t.co/tJq30qmII5
US prosecutors accuse Assange of playing a vital role in helping former Pentagon analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified files from the Department of Defence network to publish them on his website. The files in question contained war logs from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as classified Department of State cables. Should Washington successfully extradite the whistleblower and prove his guilt in court, he could face up to 175 years in jail.