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Pence defends Trump's mixed message on WikiLeaks

AFP  |  Washington 

US Vice on Friday defended what some say is his boss Donald Trump's puzzling position over the arrest of founder

Repeated past praise for from Trump was not "an endorsement," Pence told

Republicans generally celebrated the capture of Assange, who had been taking shelter at for nearly seven years until took him into custody Thursday.

But Trump's first reaction was dismissive, telling reporters "I know nothing about It's not my thing."

"I know nothing really about him," he said of Assange.

This raised eyebrows because during his 2016 presidential campaign Trump repeatedly lauded and encouraged the hacking and information-dumping platform, which six years earlier had caused a massive scandal by publishing thousands of secret and diplomatic documents.

"I love WikiLeaks," he said on one occasion, as the platform leaked stolen emails that proved damaging to his opponent Hillary Clinton's campaign -- even though WikiLeaks is alleged to have been working in close coordination with

Pence told that Trump simply backed the exposure of information during the election, not the WikiLeaks organization itself.

"I think the always, as you and the media do, always welcomes information," Pence said.

"But that was in no way an endorsement of an organization that we now understand was involved in disseminating classified information by the of America," he said.

Other Republicans appear less satisfied with Trump's position on the drama over Assange, who faces extradition to the

"You need to talk to the about his comments," said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 20:00 IST