During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Julian Assange’s Wikileaks site published information about the Clinton campaign that might have ultimately influenced the election in Trump’s favor. Trump praised the site for revealing inner workings of the campaign to the public.
Now, however, recent leaks that expose matters regarding Trump’s own campaign have him taking a different position, and this week, Julian Assange created a social media account, where he responded to let Trump know the standard applies equally.
During his campaign, Donald Trump shared news stories carrying Wikileaks content and even complained that news media was not carrying enough of the released information.
Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2016
I hope people are looking at the disgraceful behavior of Hillary Clinton as exposed by WikiLeaks. She is unfit to run.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2016
With recently disclosed information regarding the Trump campaign’s contact with Russian officials, however, the President has spoken out to express that leaking information is inappropriate and that news media should not print information leaked in such a manner. He has specifically asserted that the attention should be not on the content or veracity of the leak but on the source, and he called for at least one publication printing the information to apologize.
The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
However, while President Trump’s position on leaked information might have shifted as he became the subject of said leaks, the entity he once praised for sharing information regarding the Clinton campaign stands firm on their stance.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange joined Twitter this week. While he doesn’t yet have the iconic blue checkmark verifying his account, the verified Wikileaks account introduced him to the social media scene and vouched for the veracity of the new account.
Assange’s very first account activity was to assure followers that death rumors are false, riffing off the famous Mark Twain quote to the same effect.
In short order, though, Assange moved to admonishing Donald Trump, quoting the tweet in which Trump calls for apologies from the press and responding.
The press should never appologise for publishing true information. https://t.co/Hmx5YuSF6K— Julian Assange (@julianassange) February 16, 2017
Despite this, Assange does not seem to be turning on the Trump administration and has even tweeted defense of one Trump appointee, Michael Flynn, who, as NBC reports, recently resigned over concerns he could be subject to blackmail for phone calls in which he advised Russian officials not to respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration.
The sanctions in question were placed in response to reports that Russia was allegedly behind the hacking of the DNC servers, and they included shutting down two Russian facilities in the U.S. and expelling 35 diplomats suspected of espionage, USA Today reports.
Michael Flynn: With a phone call & sanctions as bait he stopped dozens of US spies & their kids from being expelled. A diplomatic+intel coup— Julian Assange (@julianassange) February 16, 2017
Though there is no evidence that Donald Trump directed or knew about Flynn’s contact with Russian officials, and Flynn’s resignation was tendered with the understanding that he failed to fully disclose the nature of the phone calls, Trump did respond to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s decision not to react immediately to the sanctions.
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
Currently, Trump continues to assert that allegations of collusion with Russia are false narratives created to cover for Hillary Clinton’s campaign failures.
FAKE NEWS media, which makes up stories and "sources," is far more effective than the discredited Democrats - but they are fading fast!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story - RUSSIA. Fake news!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
However, even as he calls the stories fake, Trump’s open admission that intelligence officials are leaking classified information has been read as lending additional credibility to the content of the leaks.
Reuters reports that Democrats are calling for an investigation into Flynn’s actions and any connection between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Though Wikileaks publications during the election focused largely on data from the DNC, and resulted in negative publicity for the Clinton campaign, and the resignation of at least one DNC official, today’s tweet seems to indicate that the Wikileaks founder, at least, does not hold unconditional support for Trump.
Instead, Julian Assange told Donald Trump that the New York Times doesn’t owe him an apology — and in fact, “…[t]he press should never appologise for publishing true information.”
[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]