Sean Hannity's sit down interview on Tuesday with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Fox News may have dominated the cable news ratings this week, but it's a rival network that has caught the attention of WikiLeaks-- or, at least, their legal department. WikiLeaks has threatened to sue CNN after the network aired a clip in which counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd referred to Julian Assange as a pedophile-- although there is no credible evidence to support Mudd's outrageous and offensive claim.

Mudd slings mud at Assange

The footage that has drawn the ire of WikiLeaks is from a segment of CNN's "New Day" program, in which counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd is discussing the recent Fox News interview with Assange. During the segment, Mudd addresses Assange's assertion that Russian hackers were not responsible for the leaking of DNC documents. Then Mudd added that there was an effort by WikiLeaks to "protect a pedophile that lives in the Ecuadorian embassy in London," a not-so-subtle jab at the WikiLeaks founder who, in 2010, was accused by Swedish authorities of sexual assault.

Assange, who continues to deny the sexual assault allegations, was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012 and has made his home in the embassy in London ever since.

CNN forced to apologize

Soon after the segment aired on CNN, the WikiLeaks Task Force-- an official auxiliary account of the whistleblowing organization-- issued a statement via Twitter saying that they are prepared to sue CNN for defamation.

CNN's "New Day" Twitter account quickly responded on Wednesday afternoon by deleting the tweet featuring a link to the offending segment with Mudd, and then issued a retraction admitting that there was no credible evidence to support Mudd's claim that Julian Assange is a pedophile, and that there is no evidence to suggest that women involved in the sexual assault claim were minors.

Before joining CNN as an analyst, Philip Mudd previously worked for the CIA and the FBI and is presently a board member of the National Counterterrorism Center.

As for CNN, this is not the first time the network has been forced to issue an apology after an embarrassing moment in recent weeks; in early December the network issued an apology to Donald Trump after a producer was caught on a hot mic making a joke about how she hoped that the president-elect's plane would crash.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more