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Report: WikiLeaks turned down damaging documents about Russia to focus on Clinton

At the same time WikiLeaks was publishing thousands of documents from the Democratic National Committee that were damaging to Hillary Clinton and believed to have been stolen by Kremlin-backed hackers, it rejected at least 68 gigabytes of data from inside the Russian Interior Ministry, Foreign Policy reports.

FP spoke with the person who said they provided WikiLeaks with the Russia documents last summer, and was shown chat messages between the person and WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks said at the time that "as far as we recall, these are already public," and told FP when reached via Twitter that it "rejects all submissions that it cannot verify" but "has never rejected a submission due to its country of origin." The Twitter account is believed to be run by Assange, but FP was told by the account that it's operated by a staffer.

The person who provided the messages to WikiLeaks told FP that the documents "would have exposed Russian activities and shown WikiLeaks was not controlled by Russian security services," and that because "many WikiLeaks staff and volunteers or their families suffered at the hands of Russian corruption and cruelty, we were sure WikiLeaks would release it. Assange gave excuse after excuse." The cache was published online elsewhere, to little fanfare. Assange, who in 2012 had his own show on the Kremlin-backed RT network, has been accused of being too close to Russia, and came under fire when WikiLeaks failed to publish major documents out of the country, including paperwork showing a transaction worth 2 billion euros between a government-owned bank and the Syrian regime, FP reports.