CNN first reported this week that intelligence firms contracted by the Ecuadorian government kept a close eye on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he lived in their embassy in London and at least one of the firms concluded that Assange had ties to Russian intelligence services.
They also concluded that Assange was able to live in the embassy and maintain his relationship with shady characters for so long because he was protected by members of former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa's administration.
CNN reached out to Correa to ask for comment on their report and what he had to say for himself was far more incoherent than anything I expected.
"We did notice that he was interfering in the elections and we do not allow that because we have principles, very clear values, as we would not like anyone to interfere in our elections," he said. "We are not going to allow that to happen with a foreign country and friend like the US."
"WikiLeaks' justification was that they were providing truthful information," Correa told CNN. "Sure, but (it) was just about Hillary Clinton. Not about (Donald) Trump. So, they were not saying all the truth. And not saying all the truth is called manipulation. And we are not going to allow that." [...]
In the interview on Tuesday morning, Correa distanced himself from Assange, even though he has steadfastly defended his decision to grant asylum to the WikiLeaks founder in 2012.
"You know how many times I've spoken with Assange? Never. I don't know him," Correa said. "Just one time he interviewed me when he worked for Russia Today, via Skype."
But they did allow it.
Correa personally allowed it. It happened. Past tense!
You know, maybe something's been lost in translation here, but this seems like the equivalent of saying 'new phone, who dis?' Correa did not refer to the US as a "friend" when he ran for office on an anti-US platform.