MSNBC host Joy Reid said she is blocking WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Twitter for a tweet she claims was "bordering on stalking."
Reid had mentioned WikiLeaks in a series of tweets Thursday evening in response to a segment by her MSNBC colleague, Rachel Maddow, in which she spoke about a possible operation to discredit journalists reporting on Russia meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign by sending them fake documents.
"Notice that whatever [President] Trump says — no matter how ridiculous — there's a meme corps (and maybe more than that) willing to try and 'prove' it," Reid said. "So if the media is providing 'fake news,' then pro-Trump operatives would help him by discrediting major news organizations. People literally laughed last year when I said I wouldn't touch anything from Wikileaks after [intelligence expert and MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance] warned it could include fake info."
People literally laughed last year when I said I wouldn't touch anything from Wikileaks after Malcolm warned it could include fake info.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 7, 2017
That's when Assange chimed in, touting WikiLeak's method of authentication for leaked documents it publishes.
"They were right to laugh. WikiLeaks has a perfect record of authentication. Even the FBI could not find a fake," Assange said.
WikiLeaks, which published stolen documents during the 2016 election from Democratic officials, including from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta, has been tied to the Russian government by multiple agencies in the U.S. intelligence community. The Washington Post reported in April that the Justice Department is on the verge of filing criminal charges against WikiLeaks and Assange.
Reid was not amused by the comment, tweeting back at Assange that his reply was "bordering on stalking."
"Why don't you come out of your hiding place and try your harassment right here in the U.S.? Do it," she said, a reference to Assange taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. He is wanted in Sweden on separate sexual allegations. Assange maintains that he is innocent but has expressed fear that he could be extradited to the United States for espionage should he leave the embassy.
"In the meantime, Reid said in a separate tweet, "I'm blocking your creepy ass. Goodbye, Julian."
In the meantime, I'm blocking your creepy ass. Goodbye, Julian.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 7, 2017
Assange said this type of reaction came from the "Standard establishment 'journalist' playbook": "Spew fake news. When confronted, slander the character of the accuser — then censor them."
Standard establishment "journalist" playbook. Spew fake news. When confronted, slander the character of the accuser—then censor them.— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) July 7, 2017