Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks on stage prior to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's town hall meeting on 14 March 2016Getty

Former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, apologised to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a Facebook post on Tuesday (3 January) night. The apology came after Assange appeared in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity.

In the interview, Assange again said that the source for the leaked Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails was not connected to the Russian government, though US intelligence sources have repeatedly claimed that orders came from the highest levels of the Russian state.

In the Facebook post, Palin said the work of Wikileaks and Assange had "finally opened people's eyes to democrat candidates and operatives". She went on to apologise for condemning Assange for releasing her own emails in 2008.

Palin, however, added a caveat to her praise of Assange: "As I said at the time of being targeted and my subsequent condemnation, though, the line must be drawn before our troops or innocent lives deserving protection would be put at risk as a result of published emails."

The surprising friendliness shown to Assange by Palin and Hannity comes as tensions mount between Russia and America. Last week, President Obama announced a series of measures aimed at retaliating to Russia for the alleged hacking of the DNC and attempts to interfere with the recent presidential election.

A secret CIA report said the Russian efforts had been made in the hope of helping Donald Trump win the election. However, Trump has rejected any such claims and reportedly said he knows "things that other people don't know" about the alleged hacking.