Update: WikiLeaks reports that the Tuesday announcement will still take place as scheduled. However, instead of having Julian Assange give his announcement on the balcony of the embassy, the announcement will take place via a video conference which will air at a Berlin press conference. The press conference is slated to take place on Tuesday morning.
According to @wikileaks, Julian Assange will appear via video link at Berlin press conference on Tuesday AM
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) October 2, 2016
Original Story: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was slated to give a highly anticipated announcement from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Tuesday. However, MSNBC’s Jesse Rodriguez says that the announcement has been canceled by WikiLeaks over “security concerns.”
Due to security concerns at the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange’s balcony announcement on Tues has been cancelled, per @wikileaks
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) September 30, 2016
Fox News reports that Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has canceled his scheduled Tuesday announcement. Assange notes “security concerns” as the reason for canceling the big announcement but did not go into further detail. Though details about the announcement were not given to the public, it had been widely speculated that the announcement would be about the purported Hillary Clinton dump that Assange claims to have in his possession.
Assange has long claimed that he has more information on Hillary Clinton and that he would release it during a time that would be most damaging to the Democrat presidential candidate. The October Surprise was touted as one that could significantly damage Clinton’s chances at the presidency. The Blaze reports that Assange has made numerous claims about his Hillary Clinton documents, noting that he has more information that would prove damning to Clinton but that he wanted to release it at the best possible time. In an interview with Megyn Kelly, Assange said he believed the new data dump on Clinton would be “significant” if it caught on in the media.
“I think it’s significant. It depends on how it catches fire in the public and in the media. I don’t want to scoop ourselves. [But they are] different types of documents from different types of institutions that are associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles that are … quite interesting, some even entertaining.”
Therefore, when WikiLeaks told reporters that Assange would be making a major announcement on Tuesday, many automatically believed it would have to do with the Clinton data dump. However, it appears that reporters and the public will have to wait a little bit longer for the release. With Assange cancelling the release due to security concerns, it is unknown if or when the announcement will take place.
Some are speculating that the data dump will still take place, but that Assange will simply not make an appearance to the public and instead will resort to video announcement instead. The “security concerns” were detailed shortly after Hillary Clinton was accused of proposing a drone strike of Assange to silence WikiLeaks during her time as Secretary of State. The True Pundit claimed that during an intense meeting regarding ways to mitigate damage from potential WikiLeaks data dumps. During the meeting, an unnamed source claims that Clinton openly asked, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” The source claims everyone in the room laughed but that the situation grew increasingly uncomfortable as Clinton continued to comment about the subject noting that Assange was a “soft target” as he was always just “walking around.” It was noted that the conversation was made at a time that Julian Assange was not holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Concerns about the handling of WikiLeaks and Assange continued as a leaked email showed one of Clinton’s top aides, State Department Director of Policy Planning Ann-Marie Slaughter, penned an email to Clinton, Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and aides Huma Abebin and Jacob Sullivan at 10:29 a.m. shortly after the aforementioned meeting entitled “an SP memo on possible legal and nonlegal strategies re Wikileaks.”
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) October 3, 2016
The publication questions why an email with that subject matter would ever make it through to Clinton, noting that all methods of dealing with any threat should always be “legal” and that “nonlegal strategies” should never even be considered by a top diplomat.
What do you think about the WikiLeaks Tuesday announcement being moved to video conference? Do you think Julian Assange’s concerns about safety are justified given the nature of his purported disclosures?
[Featured Image by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Images]