- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2016

Julian Assange accused Google’s top executives of colluding with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign during a media event Tuesday in Russia as the WikiLeaks founder rekindled concerns over two of his most frequent targets.

Speaking remotely from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the Australian hacker-turned-whistleblower was addressing attendees at an international media forum in Moscow when he made the allegations about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and one of Silicon Valley’s largest companies.

“Google is directly engaged with Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Assange claimed, according to Russian state-owned media.

Google “is intensely aligned with U.S. exceptionalism,” and its employees will likely be rewarded if Mrs. Clinton wins the presidential election come November, Mr. Assange added.

Individuals “at the top” of Google are personally involved with the Democrat’s campaign, and “almost certainly… will be placed into positions around the new Clinton presidency” if she ends up in the White House, Mr. Assange claimed.

“The chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, set up a company to run the digital component of Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Breitbart News quoted Mr. Assange as saying.

In January, a Breitbart investigation indicated that the company in question, “The Groundwork,” had received more than $400,000 from the Clinton campaign during 2015 for technical services, and was being run by Michael Slaby, a former chief technology officer for President Obama.

“We’re not trying to obfuscate anything, we’re just trying to keep our heads down and do stuff,” Mr. Slaby said at the time.

According to the WikiLeaks founder, however, ties alleged to exist between Google and the Clinton campaign could influence the former secretary of state’s presidential run.

“Google controls 80 percent of the smartphone market through its control of Android and if you control the device itself — that people use to read — then anything that they connect to through that device you have control over as well,” Mr. Assange said at the event, according to Breitbart.

Mrs. Clinton and Google — and more specifically, its chairman — have been frequently subject to Mr. Assange’s scorn, and were both discussed in detail within the pages of “When Google Met WikiLeaks,” a 2014 book in which Mr. Assange recalled a personal encounter he had with Mr. Schmidt during 2011.

Mr. Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2013 and has resided inside the country’s London embassy ever since. British authorities have said they will apprehend the WikiLeaks founder if he exits the residence so that he can be extradited to Sweden where he’s been accused of sex crimes.

On his part, Mr. Assange has said he fears Swedish authorities will send him to the United States to be tried over WikiLeaks’ disclosure of classified U.S. documents — notably including hundreds of thousands of State Department cables that were pilfered from government computers during Mrs. Clinton’s stint as secretary of state.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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