The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hit The View’s Meghan McCain hard on Thursday morning.
“The politics of this have always been completely hypocritical on both sides,” McCain said, noting that President Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder declined to prosecute Assange on the basis that WikiLeaks is essentially a “journalistic” organization.
“This is something that a lot of people who have put national security first, and I put myself in that category, have been warning about and warning about and warning about,” she continued, “and the only time the Democrats started caring is when it started affecting them politically and when Hillary Clinton's emails were released.”
Asked what will happen to Assange, McCain replied, “I hope he rots in hell!”
Her co-host Sunny Hostin had a markedly different take on the matter, saying that if people “have a problem” with Assange and the secrets he published, then they must also have a problem with the the release of the Pentagon Papers and the Panama Papers, both of which she believes “protected our democracy.” She disputed the notion that Obama and Holder “punted” on Assange but rather that they decided the Constitution protected Assange "because our Constitution does protect Julian Assange.”
“I’m sorry, I’ve got to push back hard on this,” McCain interrupted, to which Hostin said, “Excuse me, you can push back after I’m finished speaking.”
Once Hostin had concluded her point about how the First Amendment should protect Assange’s right to disseminate even stolen material, McCain shot back, “I think what you said was just straight propaganda. They’re not First Amendment—he was a cyber terrorist from day one!”
“There's a difference, Sunny, in being a whistleblower and being a straight-up hacker,” Abby Huntsman said, backing up McCain. “What we found out with Assange is he conspired with Russia to meddle in our 2016 elections. If that's not him committing a crime, I don't know what is.”
Ultimately, as she did earlier in the week, moderator Whoopi Goldberg had to break up the fight and throw to commercial. “Whatever it is, we got to go,” she said.