'This Week' Transcript: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Julian Assange is interviewed on 'This Week'

ByABC News
June 28, 2013, 12:23 PM
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 14, 2013.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 14, 2013.
Anthony Devlin/AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK, June 30, 2013 — -- A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, June 30, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning. Welcome to "This Week." Traitor or hero? High stakes standoff with America's most wanted fugitive.


DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Where is he hiding tonight?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Our ABC News exclusive with the other fugitive stoking Edward Snowden's defiance, the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

Making history: the Supreme Court's landmark decision on same-sex marriage. But with the fight is far from over, leaders from both sides are here. Is this the start of a new culture war? Our powerhouse roundtable weighs in.

And a lone star in Texas shoots straight into the national spotlight. Right here this Sunday morning.

ANNOUNCER: This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from ABC News headquarters, George Stephanopoulos.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So much to get to in one of the newsiest weeks of the year. And we begin with what has become an emotional mission to South Africa for President Obama. Honoring at every stop his personal hero Nelson Mandela. ABC's Byron Pitts is there in Johannesburg. Good morning, Byron.


Moving is right. We're outside Mr. Mandela's home where the steady stream of the concerned and the curious continues today. The former South African president is still listed in critical but stable condition. As for President Obama, today he visited Robben Island and an infamous prison where Mandela spent much of his 27 years behind bars.

Later in Cape Town, he meets with Bishop Desmond Tutu to shine a light on AIDS awareness here.

Yesterday, the president met privately with members of Mr. Mandela's family to offer words of comfort.

At every public event here in South Africa, the president made the point that as a young man he was inspired by Nelson Mandela to live his dreams.

George, this evening, the president will overnight in Cape Town. Tomorrow, he continues his tour of Africa when he makes the stop in the capital of Tanzania -- George.


Now to our exclusive interview with Julian Assange. He's standing by from his safe room at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. First, our chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas has more on Assange and the assistance WikiLeaks is providing to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Good morning, Pierre.


WikiLeaks officials were with Snowden when he fled from Hong Kong to Russia, and they have provided him with legal guidance. Assange is said to be pressing Ecuadorian officials to grant Snowden's request for asylum. Some say it's the latest provocation of the U.S.


JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: He has long been a prickly thorn in the side of the U.S. government. But who is Julian Assange? Hacker? Activist? A journalist? Or a fugitive criminal?

We've exposed the world's secret.

THOMAS: He is the mastermind behind WikiLeaks which has published the secrets of nations, and is now at the heart of a global debate over the public's right to know.

SAWYER: The WikiLeaks organization published hundreds more internal government documents.

THOMAS: Assange has embarrassed the powerful, and revealed top secret information about U.S. and other government activities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a bunch of bodies laying there.

THOMAS: But at what cost?

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security.