A former Wikileaks volunteer has leaked private messages sent between Julian Assange and a group of his supporters to the Intercept. The messages, 11,000 in all, were sent privately on Twitter and stretch from mid-2015 to November 2017. The Intercept correctly points out that a lot of the points Assange made privately to the group he also made publicly in various interviews. What’s different about the messages is that they provide an “unfiltered window” into his thinking.
For instance, it’s no secret that Assange is not a fan of Hillary Clinton. In 2016 he said the pro-Clinton media was erecting a “demon,” one that would “put nooses around everyone’s neck” if Clinton were elected (video below). Still, in private, Assange was far less kind in his assessment of Hillary [emphasis added]:
“We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” he typed into a private Twitter direct message group to an assortment of WikiLeaks’ most loyal supporters on Twitter. “Dems+Media+liberals woudl then form a block to reign in their worst qualities,” he wrote. “With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute.” He paused for two minutes before adding, “She’s a bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath.”
Assange’s thinking appeared to be rooted not in ideological agreement with the right wing in the U.S., but in the tactical idea that a Republican president would face more resistance to an aggressive military posture than an interventionist President Hillary Clinton would.
A few more months into the primary season, after Super Tuesday, Assange decried the idea of Clinton in the “whitehouse with her bloodlutt and amitions of empire with hawkish liberal-interventionist appointees like [Anne-Marie] Slaughter and digital expansionists such as Google integrated into the power structure. Then the republicans and trump in opposition constantly saying she’s weak and not invading enough.”
Another 2016 mini-scandal mentioned in the message archive is the claim, by Roger Stone, that he had advance notice of material Wikileaks planned to release:
In the final months of the 2016 election, Stone repeatedly claimed that he had insider knowledge about WikiLeaks’ upcoming release of hacked emails. In early August 2016, Stone told a Florida Republican Party group, “I actually have communicated with Assange, including tweeting that ‘it will soon the [sic] Podesta’s time in the barrel’ before WikiLeaks published its cache of Podesta emails.” In the private Twitter group, WikiLeaks dismissed Stone’s claims, just as it had publicly. “Stone is a bullshitter,” Assange posted. “Trying to a) imply that he knows anything b) that he contributed to our hard work.”
There’s more in the article including Assange trash-talking one of the attorneys representing a woman who made sexual assault allegations against him and some comments about Chelsea Manning (Assange supports using Chelsea’s chosen pronouns but suggested a statue depicting Manning as a male might avoid offending audiences in some countries).
I didn’t read through the entire chat history but if what the Intercept published is the best/worst of it I don’t think Assange has too much to worry about. His dislike for Hillary was already evident and I’m sure she’s said the same or worse about him in semi-private.