Hillary Clinton may have tried to order a drone strike on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in order to silence him, a controversial report claims in what could be a devastating October surprise for the Democratic candidate.
The story hit the internet early this week and quickly went viral. The story rang true to many who have seen Hillary Clinton as a calculating and ruthless politician willing to do whatever it takes to seize power, but the report itself comes from a website known for spreading baseless and often false reports about Hillary Clinton and has come under intense scrutiny.
The report, which was published on a site called True Pundit and went viral on Monday, claimed that Assange became a target after Hillary Clinton was named Secretary of State under Barack Obama. The report claimed that Clinton met with staff in November, 2010, shortly after Assange’s organization, WikiLeaks, released hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables.
The report goes on to claim that Clinton’s proposed solution was to order a drone strike against Julian Assange.
“That is when a frustrated Clinton, sources said, at some point blurted out a controversial query.
“‘Can’t we just drone this guy?’ Clinton openly inquired, offering a simple remedy to silence Assange and smother Wikileaks via a planned military drone strike, according to State Department sources. The statement drew laughter from the room which quickly died off when the Secretary kept talking in a terse manner, sources said. Clinton said Assange, after all, was a relatively soft target, ‘walking around’ freely and thumbing his nose without any fear of reprisals from the United States.”
For many who read the October surprise story claiming Hillary Clinton wanted to order a drone strike on Julian Assange, the story at least seemed to be rooted in reality. For one, Assange has been a thorn in the Democratic candidate’s side this election season, with WikiLeaks releasing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee that showed members openly supporting Clinton and opposing Bernie Sanders. The leaks didn’t sit well with many Sanders supporters who believed that Hillary Clinton and the DNC had rigged the primary, even though the DNC leaks didn’t show any action beyond a few members trashing Sanders.
Assange has continually spoken out against the Democratic candidate, saying last month that America’s liberal media is colluding to elect the “demonic” Hillary Clinton. Assange made the claim in a New York Times interview that was broadcast on Facebook Live.
“The American liberal press, in falling over themselves to defend Hillary Clinton, are erecting a demon that is going to put nooses around everyone’s necks as soon as she wins the election, which is almost certainly what she’s going to do.”
Others connected the story claiming that Hillary Clinton ordered a drone strike on Julian Assange to other shadowy conspiracy theories about a “Clinton kill list” of alleged victims of both Bill and Hillary Clinton. These rumors — which date back decades to the death of Clinton aide Vince Foster — claim that the politically powerful couple have had their opponents murdered.
Though these claims have been offered without backing — and, in most cases, against evidence directly to the contrary — they have seemed to gain new steam with Hillary Clinton in the public eye. One of the most recent claims is that she ordered the killing of Seth Rich, a young and low-level DNC staffer who was found murdered in Washington, D.C., this summer in what police said was a robbery gone bad.
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks fanned the flames on Rich’s murder, offering a $20,000 reward for information about his murder. In an interview on Dutch television, Assange went on to suggest that Rich had been a source to WikiLeaks, a transcript from The Gateway Pundit showed.
Julian Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27 year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.
Reporter: That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?
Julian Assange: No. There’s no finding. So… I’m suggesting that our sources take risks.
But Seth Rich’s own family has quashed the rumors that he may have been murdered, with his own father asking that people stop spreading baseless conspiracy theories, Forward.com noted.
“Both Joel Rich and his wife Mary Ann have asked people to disregard these theories. They firmly believe, based on evidence gathered by the police, that Seth was the victim of a random robbery in a neighborhood where armed robberies have been on the rise.“
The report claiming that Hillary Clinton ordered a drone strike on Julian Assange appears equally dubious. The True Pundit report that makes the bombshell claim has no byline, and says it is written by “admin,” and also offers no proof whatsoever to back the claim. The site does not appear to have any staff named, and it seems entirely unlikely that it could have sources within the State Department willing to share information that no other news organization could obtain.
And True Pundit has already come into question earlier in this election cycle for peddling completely unproven conspiracy theories. Back in September, the site claimed that Hillary Clinton wore an invisible earpiece during an NBC town hall event. The report was cited by InfoWars and Fox News, and eventually Trump’s own campaign adviser A.J. Delgado seized on the theory, Mediaite reported.
But Mediaite also noted that True Pundit‘s report appeared to have no backing at all, only unnamed NYPD sources and unnamed technology experts who claimed that Clinton was caught wearing an earpiece.
So far, there is no official response from the Hillary Clinton camp on the claim that she tried to order a drone strike on Julian Assange.
[Featured Image by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Images]