Assange to Matt Lauer: Rape Claims 'Incredible'

Lauer scores first US interview with WikiLeaks founder

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 17, 2010 11:05 AM CST

(Newser) – Julian Assange isn't exactly keeping a low profile now that he's out of prison. In an interview with Matt Lauer this morning on Today, the WikiLeaks founder called rape allegations against him “incredible” but “a very successful smear campaign so far,” reports Mediaite. Asked about a US espionage investigation and allegations that he provided Pfc. Bradley Manning with software to gain access to classified documents, Assange replied: "I have no information about what you’re referring to. We don’t know what the grounds of that investigation is."

Earlier, Assange told reporters in England that WikiLeaks was under “aggressive” and apparently “illegal” investigation by the US, the Guardian reports. “Certain people who are alleged to be affiliated to us have been detained, followed around, had their computers seized and so on,” he said, citing an “80%” chance the US aims to have him extradited here for espionage charges. British courts said they didn’t need “a shred of evidence” from Swedish authorities in the sexual assault case, Assange said, and the matter “needs scrutiny.”

Julian Assange in Bungay, England, Friday, Dec. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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Assange talks to Matt Lauer.   (MSNBC)

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