Since winning the US presidential election last year, Donald Trump's administration has been in an almost constant state of turmoil. Yet Julian Assange, the outspoken founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, says it's not all doom and gloom.
In a series of Australian radio interviews this week (15 February), broadcast from the Ecuadorian embassy where he lives under political asylum, Assange said the rise of leaks from inside the US government alongside a renewed journalistic aggression are both welcome changes from the previous administrations of Obama and Bush.
"I quite like the way that now suddenly it's permissible for most media to criticise government in a way that it wasn't in the past in the United States, and frankly, wasn't in major US allies as well," he said during an interview with the Kyle and Jackie O show.
"Now it's acceptable to look into policies of the White House and the Pentagon," he continued, adding: "I think that aspect, that suddenly it's acceptable for the press to actually do their job and hold government to account, is a positive."
Last December, Assange spoke out in guarded praise of the incoming Trump administration. In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, he said the fact he was not a "DC insider" would result in "opportunities for change in the United States."
But WikiLeaks was previously hounded by the US intelligence community for its role in leaking thousands of emails in the run-up to the 2016 election. It released data that largely centred on the Democratic Party, data the US government said was provided by Russian hackers.
And since moving into the White House, Trump has faced constant questions over suspected links to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Most recently, Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, resigned in a media maelstrom over alleged links to Moscow.
In response to this, Assange said the fight that has emerged between the US president and the so-called "Deep State" is another curious aspect of the current situation. "It will be interesting to see how that plays out," he said, adding the outcome is likely more conflict.
When asked about future leaks, Assange played coy but admitted: "We are always preparing to publish. Yeah, sure, we have some wonderful and amazing stuff for this year. I am in love with it really." He previously claimed to have an incoming leak about technology giant Google.
In a separate interview on the same day, the WikiLeaks founder echoed the same belief about positive change. He said every day with Trump "is like Christmas" and noted: "Suddenly the US intelligence community loves leaks. I hope we will see the White House do the same."
He was speaking to Australian media specifically to advertise an upcoming Skype Q&A tour, called "No More Secrets, No More Lies", that is taking place in the country this month. Streaming from the embassy, he will be broadcasting shows in Melbourne and Sydney.
The WikiLeaks founder recently activated a long-dormant Twitter account, gaining tens of thousands of followers in a mere 48 hours.