- Hillary Clinton addressed the WikiLeaks founder’s arrest on Thursday night during an event entitled An Evening With The Clintons in New York City
- Clinton said Assange, who she blames for her losing the 2016 presidential election, deserves whatever punishment is coming his way
- British police arrested Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had been hiding out for more than six years on Thursday
- He is accused by the Justice Department of hacking US military computers
- Assange could face decades behind bars or even the death penalty if he is extradited to the US, which prosecutors are lobbying for
Hillary Clinton has said she approved of Julian Assange’s arrest because ‘he has to answer for what he’s done’.
The former Democratic Presidential candidate said that the founder of WikiLeaks, who she blames for her losing the 2016 election, deserves whatever punishment is coming his way.
Hillary also launched a barb at Donald Trump and said it is ‘a little ironic that he will be the only foreigner this administration welcomes into the United States’.
The comments are the first time that Hillary has addressed the arrest of Assange who was taken from the Ecuadorian embassy in London by British police where he had been hiding out for more than six years.
His Wikileaks colleagues have expressed fear that Assange could face decades behind bars or even the death penalty if he is extradited to the US.
Hillary Clinton said that she approved of Julian Assange’s arrest because ‘he has to answer for what he’s done’ during an event entitled An Evening With The Clintons in NYC on Thursday
The comments are the first time that Hillary has addressed the arrest of Assange, who was taken from the Ecuadorian embassy in London by British police where he had been hiding out for more than six years on Thursday (above)
Assange has been accused by the Justice Department of hacking US military computers and prosecutors are seeking his extradition to America.
Intelligence agencies have said that the embarrassing emails that Wikileaks released from the Democratic party were provided to them by Russian hackers.
THE FATE OF JULIAN ASSANGE
Julian Assange could face decades behind bars or even the death penalty if he is extradited to the United States, his WikiLeaks colleagues fear.
The 47-year-old was spending his first night in custody after being convicted of breaching bail following a dramatic arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been holed up for seven years.
He is facing extradition to the US on charges of conspiring to break into a classified government computer which, on conviction, could attract a maximum jail sentence of five years, according to the US Department of Justice.
But WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson expressed concern there could be more serious charges awaiting Assange.
He told the Press Association: “We believe this indictment presented in the extradition request is only a part of the story – that there will be more later, that will be added on, more charges.
“It probably adds to the likelihood that he will be extradited from the UK if it’s on relatively smaller charges.”
He said the Grand Jury investigation included charges which could lead to decades in prison or even the death penalty under the Espionage Act 1917.
Hillary was speaking at An Evening With The Clintons at the Beacon Theater in New York alongside her husband Bill when moderator Paul Begala asked her about Assange being held – and got a cheer from the crowd
Begala joked that she had ‘some familiarity with the work of Mr. Assange’ and she laughed that ‘I do, I do’.
Hillary said: ‘I think it is clear from the indictment it’s not about punishing journalism it’s about assisting the hacking of a military computer to steal information from the US government.
‘I’ll wait and see what happens with the charges but he skipped bail in the UK. Sweden had those charges which have been dropped, but the bottom line is he has to answer for what he’s done, at least as it’s been charged’.
The talk was interrupted by one protester who called Bill ‘boring’ and had to be escorted out by security.
The Clintons spoke at length about how to repair democracy in America and both called for the abolition of the electoral college.
Hillary blamed the lack of engagement in politics on the ‘big industry designed to feed false information to people’.
Bill said that the sense of ‘alienation’ people feel was to blame too and admitted that even in his home town of Hope, Arkansas, people had lost faith in Democrats.
Begala said that in Garland County, where Clinton is from, it had gone Democratic from 1874 to 1965 but since then it was a solid Republican seat.
Clinton said that things were so bad for Democrats there that ‘I couldn’t even get elected dog catcher’.
The Clintons have turned to public tours after being criticized for earning more than $150million from speeches to bankers, a fact which haunted Hillary’s election campaign
Bill was asked what the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who just won a fifth term, meant for peace in the Middle East.
Bill said that ‘I don’t know’ if there is still cause for hope and he urged Netanyahu to be more ‘adventurous’ in finding peace with Palestine.
Bill Clinton said that the sense of ‘alienation’ people feel was to blame too and admitted that even in his home town of Hope, Arkansas, people had lost faith in Democrats
Hillary drew a laugh when Begala asked her if politics was more like the West Wing or Veep. She replied: ‘Probably Game of Thrones’.
Bill said that he liked the TV series Madam Secretary, about a female Secretary of State, and Hillary agreed that it had the ‘ring of authenticity for me’
Hillary spoke about the raid to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011 that she approved of when she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama.
She kept it such a secret that she did not tell her husband, who only found out when Obama called him.
Bill said that Obama told him: ‘We got him!’ and he replied: ‘Who?’
Obama said: ‘Bin Laden!’
Obama said he had told Hillary not to tell anyone but he didn’t expect that she would keep it secret from her husband – but she did.
Hillary said that the way the decision was reached showed the best way to run the White House and not making decisions ‘on Twitter’ like Trump does.
Bill said that White House staffers should ‘not think about what the President wants to hear before they open their mouths’.
In another barb at Trump Hillary said that voters admired past Presidents because they ‘got up every day and went to work’, a reference to Trump’s five hour long work day which begins mid morning.
Bill also opened up about how proud he was about his daughter Chelsea refused a prestigious Rhodes scholarship while she was at Stanford.
Bill won the scholarship in 1968 to study at Oxford University in the UK but Chelsea turned it down.
He recounted how she called him late one night and said she did not want it because for her father it ‘changed his life’ but she would be awarded it because of the life she had already led.
Chelsea said that it ‘wasn’t fair’ for somebody like her to take it and that it should go to somebody more deserving.
Chelsea completed a doctorate program on global governance structures at Oxford and graduated in 2014.
Trump supporters gathered outside Beacon Theater to protest the event featuring an on stage conversation with former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Outside the venue a dozen Donald Trump supporters goaded he crowd as they queued up by calling them ‘white supremacists’ and chanting: ‘Where does Hillary Clinton belong? In jail!’
The Trump supporters held up a 10ft tall flag saying ‘Re-elect Donald Trump, Keep America Great!’ until police told them to take it down.
A man in aviator sunglasses who was live streaming himself shouted: ‘Bill Clinton is a rapist and Hillary likes to watch! Bill Clinton has a half black son named William!’
An elderly woman who was attending the event shouted at the police: ‘They should be arrested’ and wagged her walking stick at a woman holding a Trump flag.
The event was part of a 15-date tour which kicked off last November in Las Vegas and stops before New York have included Toronto and Montreal.
The Clintons have turned to public tours after being criticized for earning more than $150million from speeches to bankers, a fact which haunted Hillary’s election campaign.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are seen leaving the Beacon Theater after the event
The couple color-coordinated their outfits, both donning Democratic dark blues