The man with the white hair loved and hated by Trump.
"President, do you still love Wikileaks?" A journalist asked Donald Trump on Thursday after the arrest of Julian Assange, its founder, at the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom. "I do not know anything about Wikileaks, it's not my business," he replied deadpan. "I know there is something related to Julian Assange," he added.
The Wikileaks platform was born in 2006, but it did not become a global phenomenon until 2010, when it carried out the largest filtering of classified documents in the history of the United States. It was an arsenal of military and diplomatic cables that uncovered miseries about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus all sorts of inconvenient details about what US officials thought or wrote about other international leaders, from the interest in mental health from Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to the peculiar female guard of Gaddafi.
With such wicks, it would be hard to imagine that a candidate for the presidency of the United States dared to say the slightest exculpatory word on the website of Julian Assange. But when a political creature like Donald Trump enters the scene, everything is possible, and during that 2016 in which he struggled to reach the White House, the New York mogul broke into praise: "Wikileaks, I love Wikileaks," he said at a rally in Pennsylvania. "Wikileaks is like a hidden treasure", was sent to Michigan. "Oh, boy, I love reading Wikileaks," he shared in Ohio.
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The platform had published a ton of pirated emails from the Democratic Party that had left Hillary Clinton in a bad place and the formation, in what the intelligence services would later identify as one of the great legs of the Russian plot, the electoral interference of Moscow in order to favor the victory of the Republican in the elections. And Trump was exultant. But this Thursday, when the British police arrested Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, after the request for extradition by the United States, the president today seemed different. "I do not know anything about Wikileaks," he responded to the press.
The sympathies towards the Wikileaks universe went beyond the barbasadas on Twitter to the heat of a meeting to which the New Yorker used to be. His eldest son, Donald Junior, exchanged private messages with the platform in the middle of the campaign. In that correspondence, which transpired in November 2017 in the magazine The Atlantic as part of the research in the Congress of the Russian plot, the Assange website encouraged the young man to spread the leaks and advised him strategies. In addition, one of the advisors of Trump, Roger Stone, was one of the key pieces of the investigation of the plot for his contacts with the platform.
This type of approach fed the suspicions about the possible connivance of Trump or his circle with the Kremlin in the electoral interference. The final report of special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller, in charge of the case, has exonerated the president and this, now, marks all possible distances from Wikileaks. While the final bars of Mueller's investigation were being played, a grand jury was investigating Assange. The US Justice accuses him of criminal conspiracy to infiltrate government systems and have helped the then soldier Chelsea Manning to hack computers with classified information of the US Administration in 2010. He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison, but the lawyers of Assange fear that the charges will be extended and ask for a sentence of decades. The great filter is once again an enemy of the United States.
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