The White House dubbed as "ridiculous" the suggestion by WikiLeaks chief editor Julian Assange that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton should resign over leaked documents that showed she instructed US diplomats to engage in espionage.
"That statement is ridiculous and absurd," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on CNN. "I'm not entirely sure why we care about the opinion of one guy with one website. Our foreign policy and the interests of this country are far stronger than his one website."
In an interview published earlier with Time magazine, Assange said Clinton is obligated to resign because ordering diplomats at the United Nations to spy violates international agreements.
"She should resign, if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering US diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the US has signed up. Yes, she should resign over that," Assange said.
WikiLeaks has been behind the leaking of more than 250,000 secret US diplomat cables that hit the internet Sunday. Among them are cables signed by Clinton instructing diplomats at the UN to gather information about their counterparts. One cable said that material should include credit card information and frequent flyer numbers, and biometric data about North Korean officials.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has strongly denied that US diplomats are engaged in espionage.
"Diplomats are diplomats. And their job is to interact with people, gather information, gain perspective on events around the world and report those findings in a way that helps inform our policies and form out actions. They are not intelligence assets," Crowley said.