A Julian Assange interview with investigative journalist John Pilger posted on November 5, just three days before the U.S. presidential election, has become “the most viral news interview on RT this year,” according to an article posted to the Russian news network’s website.
RT reports that the video of the interview with the founder and publisher of Wikileaks has been “clocking up millions of views across the channel’s social media platforms.”
“The whistleblower sat down with Pilger to discuss the FBI’s 11th hour intervention in the Clinton email scandal, his life inside one room, and what he considers to be the ‘most significant’ email from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta,” the RT article says. “On Youtube, the exclusive premier of Pilger’s meeting with Assange went multi-platinum, so to speak, garnering more than 4 million views.”
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) November 26, 2016
One of the most watched clips from the interview concerns Assange’s claim that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two countries that are supposedly staunch U.S. allies in the region, had directly been funding and otherwise supporting Islamic State in Syria.
That clip alone received almost 600,000 views in the first few days after it was posted.
In the interview, Assange addresses questions on the role of the FBI in Clinton’s presidential loss, the scandal surrounding her use of a private email server for official business while secretary of state, accusations of pay-to-play cronyism within the Clinton campaign and during her time at the State Department, Wikileaks alleged ties to the Russian government, and much more.
When Pilger asks about the “significance of the FBI’s intervention” in the election, referring to FBI Director James Comey’s implication that the bureau was reopening its investigation of Clinton only days prior to Election Day, Assange replied, “If you look at the history of the FBI, it has become effectively America’s political police,” according to a transcript of the interview provided by teleSUR.
“The FBI demonstrated this by taking down the former head of the CIA [General David Petraeus] over classified information given to his mistress. Almost no-one is untouchable. The FBI is always trying to demonstrate that no-one can resist us. But Hillary Clinton very conspicuously resisted the FBI’s investigation, so there’s anger within the FBI because it made the FBI look weak.”
Another highlight of the interview is Assange’s insistence that Wikileaks had not obtained any of the leaked or hacked Clinton emails it released from Russian authorities, despite repeated statements from the Clinton campaign and others that Russia was the source.
“The Clinton camp has been able to project that kind of neo-McCarthy hysteria: that Russia is responsible for everything,” Assange said. “Hillary Clinton stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That is false; we can say that the Russian government is not the source.”
Julian Assange overtakes Donald Trump in TIME Person of the Year reader’s poll https://t.co/3l1wQ9rFwh
— TIME (@TIME) November 21, 2016
The interview is interesting and provides several insights into Julian Assange’s vision of Wikileak’s mission as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses of the inner workings of American power politics.
There is one point, however, on which Assange proved to be glaringly wrong.
When asked about Wikileaks potentially helping Trump win the White House, Assange dismissed the possibility.
“My answer is that Trump would not be permitted to win. Why do I say that? Because he’s had every establishment off side; Trump doesn’t have one establishment, maybe with the exception of the Evangelicals, if you can call them an establishment, but banks, intelligence [agencies], arms companies… big foreign money…are all united behind Hillary Clinton, and the media as well, media owners and even journalists themselves.”
You can watch the interview below.
Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, England.
Pilger, like Julian Assange, was born in Australia. He has been based in England since the 1960s. He has published at least nine books and edited and contributed to numerous others. His book The New Rulers of the World (2003), which followed the release of his documentary film of the same title, is among his most famous.
In addition to his books, Pilger has produced dozens of political documentaries dating back to 1970’s Vietnam: The Quiet Mutiny, which is “credited with disclosing to a worldwide audience the internal disintegration of the U.S. army in Vietnam,” according to Pilger’s official website JohnPilger.com.
[Featured Image by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]