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- During her Friday morning appearance on “The View,” Pamela Anderson argued with conservative host Meghan McCain over her friendship with “WikiLeaks” founder Julian Assange, who is facing extradition charges for leaking classified documents concerning US diplomatic and war efforts.
- Anderson, who is an outspoken activist and supporter of Assange, argued that he had never “put anybody at risk,” unlike the war crimes she said have been orchestrated by the US military.
- McCain reiterated that Assange was “a cyberterrorist” and risked the lives of US spies. The audience applauded both Anderson and McCain at different points in their argument.
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Pamela Anderson and Meghan McCain had a testy exchange about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on “The View” Friday morning, during which McCain insisted he was a “cyberterrorist” while Anderson, who has previously said that she has a “romantic” connection to Assange, called him and whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning “heroes.”
McCain’s tenure as a host on “The View” has led to plenty of explosive political arguments with her liberal co-hosts and guests. McCain, who is the daughter of the late Senator John McCain, has been the talk show’s conservative voice since 2017.
The subject was broached due to Anderson’s active friendship with Assange, who she visited in the London Embassy of Ecuador before he was ousted in April and arrested on a US extradition warrant. He is currently serving a 50-week jail sentence in the UK for skipping bail.
Anderson, the model, “Baywatch” actress, and activist, was first asked how Assange was doing after she visited him in jail. She said his health was deteriorating, and that he was a victim of a US government-led “smear campaign” and “propaganda,” a claim that she has echoed before. Anderson has also previously told Fox News their relationship was “romantic” in nature, but she did not reiterate that claim on “The View” on Friday.
When asked by “The View” hosts if she met Assange romantically, Anderson said she wanted to meet him to become a more “effective activist,” and said she was “really inspired” by him. Previously, Anderson has been a prominent campaigner for PETA and has supported a wide array of environmental and political causes.
McCain first interjected in the Assange discussion to say “he was allegedly kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy because he was defecating everywhere and creating messes,” which Anderson said was a smear campaign.
“What would you do if you were locked in a room for six years?” Anderson asked McCain, to which she responded, “Well, I wouldn’t be a cyberterrorist, which he is.”
McCain also said Assange had been a hacker, which Anderson refuted, noting later that he was a publisher of classified information, as opposed to a hacker.
“His leaks included classified documents that put our national security at risk, our military, and the lives of spies and diplomats at risk,” McCain said.
Anderson then asserted that the US military put American national security at risk by killing innocent people, and the live audience at the taping applauded, to which McCain said, “Oh, calm down.”
“There are war crimes that need to punished, and they haven’t,” Anderson then said. “The war crimes that he’s exposed, no one’s done anything about it. But they put him in jail to shut him up.”
The actress also noted that Assange leaked classified information about other countries, including Russia, and when questioned said that Assange did not intend to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election by leaking emails sent by and received by Hillary Clinton.
McCain then asked what Anderson would say to US spies that Assange put at risk.
“I don’t think he, there’s nothing proven that he’s actually put anybody at risk,” Anderson said. “They’ve gone through this over and over again. And I just, I think people like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning are heroes, and Julian Assange is a publisher.”
As Anderson continued to defend Assange, McCain interrupted her a second time to say “He’s a cyberterrorist. I’ll say it. I’ll say it. I’m not gonna stand by this, it’s ridiculous.” The audience applauded again, this time for McCain.
In 2010, Assange leaked classified documents obtained by whistleblower Chelsea Manning on WikiLeaks, including video of a 2007 US airstrike in Baghdad that killed civilians, Afghanistan war logs, Iraq war logs, and cables sent to the US State Department concerning diplomatic missions.
In addition to his extradition charges that he faces, Assange has also been accused of sexual assault by two women, which Assange has denied. Anderson has previously claimed the accusations were part of the “smear campaign” against him.