Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina praised WikiLeaks for releasing a series of documents that have been unflattering for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
On Oct. 17, Duncan took to social media to herald WikiLeaks for trickling out emails that were hacked from the server of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, asserting that the controversial website was doing the mainstream media’s job, Politico reports.
“Let me be clear: Thank God for Wikileaks,” Duncan tweeted. “Doing the job that MSM WON’T! #ASSANGE #wikileaks.”
Throughout October, WikiLeaks has doled out out emails from Podesta’s server that include excerpts from Clinton’s paid speeches before Wall Street and correspondences between campaign staffers.
U.S. intelligence officials have the accused Russian government of perpetrating the hacking in an attempt to damage the Clinton campaign. WikiLeaks has not been directly linked to the government of Vladimir Putin, however.
Duncan clarified that he does not approve of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who is currently holed up in an Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is facing allegations of rape.
“Not praise for Assange,” Duncan tweeted. “Thankful info is out there for sure, but never have condoned illegal activity. Maybe if HRC hadn’t destroyed emails.”
“And if FBI had not destroyed evidence & ALL emails turned over — we would have a clear picture without Wiki," the South Carolina lawmaker added,
Duncan was referring to FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend charges against Clinton for her use of a private server while serving at the State Department.
Comey has repeatedly pushed back against GOP lawmakers’ accusations that the FBI was colluding with the Clinton campaign. On Sept. 28, the FBI Director blasted Republican lawmakers’ rhetoric during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
“You can call us wrong, but don’t call us weasels,” Comey said, according to CNN. “We are not weasels, we are honest people and we did this in that way.”
The Clinton campaign has declined to verify any of the emails that WikiLeaks has dumped. While Clinton has refused to comment on the continuously disclosed emails publicly, one anonymous aide told Politico the Democratic nominee is “pissed.”
Duncan is expected to easily win re-election in the upcoming South Carolina election, where he is campaigning for a fourth term, according to the Anderson Independent-Mail.
On Oct. 17, Bloomberg View columnist Francis Wilkinson blasted GOP lawmakers for seizing on the WikiLeaks emails as evidence of Clinton’s wrongdoing. In an op-ed, Wilkinson described the leaked emails as “a portrait of Clinton as a normal politician surrounded by a normal staff engaged in normal politics.”
Wilkinson added that because GOP lawmakers “had told themselves that WikiLeaks would be the deus ex machina of this election, exposing Clinton as a treasonous devil and delivering the White House... [to Trump]. they re-imagine every dull pebble in the pan as a shimmering nugget.”