A report from Yahoo News published Sunday says that the Trump administration and CIA considered kidnapping WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2017 and even raised the prospect of assassinating him amid concerns he may be planning an escape of his own.
Citing conversations with more than 30 former U.S. intelligence and security officials, Yahoo reported that "sketches" and "options" for how an assassination operation could be carried out were requested. One former official told the site that these conversations were taking place “at the highest levels.”
Though the CIA had been monitoring Assange for many years, the U.S. government reportedly ramped up its campaign against him following the "Vault 7" data leak of CIA hacking tools and Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential race.
Assange is currently imprisoned in London after being arrested in April 2019.
According to the Yahoo report, former CIA director Mike Pompeo wanted revenge on Assange and was described by one Trump national security official as being "completely detached from reality because they were so embarrassed about Vault 7."