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15 Feb, 2018 19:47

'Sadistic sociopath': Leaked chats reveal Assange's extreme disdain for Hillary Clinton

'Sadistic sociopath': Leaked chats reveal Assange's extreme disdain for Hillary Clinton

WikiLeaks has never concealed its feelings about Hillary Clinton, but leaked chats obtained by The Intercept provide more insight into what its founder Julian Assange apparently thought about her during the run-up to the election.

The tweets are said to have been sent in a direct group message between Assange and around 10 of WikiLeaks' most loyal supporters on Twitter. The group is described as a "low security channel for some very long term and reliable supporters,"according to the news outlet.

In the autumn of 2015, when the idea of Donald Trump becoming the next US president was still deemed highly unlikely by most political pundits, the iconic whistleblower spoke candidly about Clinton and his preference for a GOP victory. “We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” he reportedly wrote. “Dems+Media+liberals woudl (sic) then form a block to reign in their worst qualities.” A couple minutes later, he apparently called the Democratic candidate a "bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath.”

However, Assange's preference for a GOP win didn't seem to come from his loyalty to America's conservatives. In fact, he apparently admitted that Republicans would "generate a lot oposition (sic), including through dumb moves."

However, he also noted that "Hillary will do the same thing, but co-opt the liberal opposition and the GOP opposition." Assange went on to conclude that Hillary "has greater freedom to start wars than the GOP and has the will to do so."

A few months later, after Super Tuesday, Assange lambasted the idea of Clinton in the White House "with her bloodlutt (sic) and amitions (sic) 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 (sic) and trump (sic) in opposition constantly saying she’s weak and not invading enough.”

Around the same time, after Bernie Sanders suffered major losses to Clinton in the Democratic primary, Assange wrote: "Perhaps Hillary will have a stroke."

He also said that her "role in the war in Libya is what should bring her down, however, the GOP is too close to others who have benefited to exploit this, it seems. That Hillary helped to sew the foundation for ISIS against pentagon generals (sic) advice seems huge. But the GOP resolutely ignores it. Hillary has so muc hslime (sic) on her shirt it is now hard to make dirt stick."

The archive, which was obtained by The Intercept, spans from May 2015 to November 2017 and includes 11,000 messages. More than 10 percent of them were written from the WikiLeaks account. The Intercept has made the assumption that the WikiLeaks account was controlled by Assange, stating that such an assumption is "widely understood" and noting that he refers to himself "in the third person majestic plural, as he often does."

Assange also reportedly addressed Russia in some of his messages, stating that Moscow was "absolutely terrified," that its foreign presence was apparently under threat from the US. But the chats also suggested that Moscow had "minor imperialistic goals in its near abroad."

Following the Intercept’s article, Assange took to Twitter to dismiss the claims, stating that the WikiLeaks Twitter account has always been run by rotating staff. Assange has also noted that while the Intercept used messages from late October 2016, he had no Internet access back then, a fact that is widely known.

The WikiLeaks co-founder also empathized the long-time rivalry between his organization and the Intercept. Assange posted a link to an article, highlighting FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ allegations that the Intercept was formed by eBay owner Pierre Omidyar, as a way to drive WikiLeaks out of the secrets-revealing business, take “ownership” of Edward Snowden’s leaks and ultimately create a “honey trap” for whistleblowers.

The private Twitter group was set up in mid-2015 by a former supporter and volunteer at WikiLeaks, who goes by the name "Hazelpress." That person - whose real name remains unknown - is the same person that leaked the messages after news broke that WikiLeaks had secretly corresponded with Donald Trump Jr. during the election, reportedly urging his father to reject the results as "rigged" if he lost, and requesting that he use his connections to make Assange the Australian ambassador.

“At this point, considering the power exercised by WikiLeaks, [disclosing] literally anything Assange says is in the public interest,” Hazelpress told The Intercept. He added that Assange's political position during the election is fair game, as WikiLeaks "purports to be a neutral transparency organization."

WikiLeaks and Clinton have never been friends, particularly after the whistleblowing website published internal Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in June, as well as the emails of Clinton's campaign boss John Podesta in October. WikiLeaks also published more than 30,000 emails and email attachments that were sent to and from Clinton's private email server while she served as secretary of state. Those emails were made public by the Department of State, following a Freedom of Information Act request.

Clinton and the Democratic Party turned to Russia as a scapegoat following the publication of DNC emails. However, both Moscow and Assange have denied that Russia was involved in any way.

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