Donald Trump’s backers were wickedly trolled by WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange early on Tuesday morning.
The pro-Trump section of American media, as well as supporters of the Republican nominee, were waiting with bated breath for the release of documents that would doom Hillary Clinton’s chances in the presidential race. Nobody really knew what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had up his sleeve, but the expectation was relentless. This need was perhaps aggravated by Trump’s desperately bad week, as backers felt only something truly scandalous about Hillary would be good enough to turn the pressure back on her campaign. Such was the hype surrounding the Tuesday surprise that Infowars, the pro-Trump and malignantly anti-Clinton YouTube media channel launched by Texas radio host Alex Jones, touted the WikiLeaks news conference as “historic,” promising his viewers that “the Clintons will be devastated.”
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump associate, even made the prophecy on Twitter that come Wednesday, the political career of Hillary Clinton will be over. Speaking on The Alex Jones Show on Monday, Stone had said that the reports about Clinton considering launching a drone strike on the WikiLeaks founder were credible “because [Assange] has the deep secrets of the Deep State and he’s getting ready to spill the beans.”
It was little wonder, then, that Trump’s backers earmarked the wee hours of Tuesday morning in their calendars, expecting Julian Assange to deliver a whirlwind of destructive information that would lead Hillary Clinton to the gallows.
As the Daily Beast reports, the top trending question on Google about Trump’s opponent was “What could WikiLeaks have on Clinton?”
For his part, Julian Assange did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm either, suggesting to Fox News hosts that his revelations could upend the race with documents “associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles, some quite interesting.”
As it turned out, however, the two-hour long news conference streamed from Berlin, in which Assage joined through video from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, was little more than an infomercial for the anti-secrecy organization having completed 10 years since it was founded.
During the news conference, Assange downplayed the expectations that his group was set to release explosive information on Clinton, and instead, he made a playful remark about how the time of the conference was not conducive to making any significant revelations.
“If we are going to make a major publication about the U.S., we wouldn’t do it at 3 a.m.,” Assange said.
This, of course, did not go down well with the pro-Trump media and backers of the Republican nominee, who had stayed up through the night hoping Wikileaks’ revelations would sound the death-knell for Clinton’s campaign. Alex Jones, evidently frustrated by the trick that had been played by WikiLeaks, wrote on Twitter that he had been #wikirolled by the failure of Assange to deliver any substantive information.
“He was promising this damning evidence and he doesn’t release it now 34 days out and now he’s saying he’ll release it by the end of the year so that smacks of a sell-out,” Jones said in an early Tuesday morning tirade. “I think he’s probably out of documents.”
One pro-Trump blogger even wrote that he would launch a drone strike on the whistle-blower for having trolled Trump’s supporters.
Before the news conference wrapped up, however, Assange did clarify that his organization would still go ahead with the release of “interesting” documents every week for the next 10 weeks, but after the trickery that Trump followers had been subject to in the wake of this news conference, it is likely that Trump’s supporters will not trust WikiLeaks anytime soon.
Julian Assange would probably not mind that. He managed to attract all the traction for this almost insignificant news conference, and this was not an altogether bad way to celebrate 10 years of the organization’s existence.
[Featured Image by Markus Schreiber/AP Images]