“Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,” Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan who is now a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told The Daily Mail in an interview published on Wednesday.
“The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks,” he said.
The source, identified by Murray as an American, was motivated by “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders,” he said.
Murray went on to explain that the documents were passed to him during a meeting in a wooded area near American University in Washington, DC. The individual he met with was an intermediary, not the person who originally obtained the information.
The former ambassador said he was speaking out about the source to counter allegations being made by Washington that claim Russia stole the emails through a hack with the intention of helping Donald Trump win the US election.
“I don’t understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn’t true,” Murray said. “Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents WikiLeaks published did not come from that.”
Murray’s statements are also consistent with those of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who told Australian journalist John Pilger in November that “the Clinton camp has been able to project a neo-McCarthyist hysteria that Russia is responsible for everything.”
“Hillary Clinton has stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 US intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That’s false – we can say that the Russian government is not the source,” Assange said at the time.
Murray’s statements also align with an open letter written earlier this week by former CIA and NSA spies who are part of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) group.
“Reading our short memo could save the Senate from endemic partisanship, expense and unnecessary delay,” they wrote in the letter, adding that “harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else.”
They went on to state that it seems near impossible that the National Security Agency (NSA) would not have been alerted to an attempted hack at the time, “given what we know of NSA’s existing capabilities.”
Those thoughts were echoed by NSA whistleblower William Binney in an interview with RT.
“[The CIA] haven’t come out with the evidence to show the tracing of the data from the DNC server to, for example the Russians, or anybody else, or going from them to WikiLeaks, which is a high priority target for NSA, in terms of network monitoring,” Binney said earlier this week.
Donald Trump himself has also dismissed the CIA’s claim that Russia helped him win the US presidency, calling it “ridiculous” and “just another excuse.”
Yet the White House continues to claim that Russia was behind a hack that led to the emails’ publication. On Wednesday, press secretary Josh Earnest branded media outlets that had covered the contents of documents as “arms of Russian intelligence.”
Meanwhile, Russia has dismissed the allegations, calling claims that it wanted to influence the election “nonsense.”
“Does anyone seriously think that Russia can somehow influence the choice of the American people?” Russian President Vladimir Putin asked in October. “Is America some sort of a banana republic?”
In November, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the “whole story is from the field of myth-making.”
In an interview today with Sean Hannity, Julian Assange confirmed the leaks received by WikiLeaks were not from Russian hackers or any other state party: