With the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Thursday, reporters asked President Donald Trump if he stilled “loved” Wikileaks like he repeatedly said he did in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election. Instead, he denied knowing about the organization.
“I know nothing about WikiLeaks, it’s not my thing,” he insisted, adding that Attorney General William Barr would take care of anything related to Assange. “I know nothing really about him. It’s not my deal in life.”
On what Assange’s punishment from the U.S. should be for leaking national security secrets, Trump backed down. “I don’t really have any opinion,” he said.
Watch the video below:
"I know nothing about Wikileaks, it's not my thing," Pres. Trump says when asked if he "still loves Wikileaks" following arrest of founder Julian Assange. Then-candidate Trump repeatedly praised the organization during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign. https://t.co/EDXbyTbtEx pic.twitter.com/eEqMMJWCIb
— ABC News (@ABC) April 11, 2019
WikiLeaks targeted Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and released emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee right before the party’s convention and proceeded to hack and release Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s private emails in the month leading to election day.
Trump celebrated the findings of the group.
“Now, this just came out,” Trump said to a crowd of supporters at a campaign rally on Oct. 10, 2016. “WikiLeaks! I love WikiLeaks.”
Watch the clip below:
In addition to verbal praise, Trump tweeted about WikiLeaks 11 times — ten of which were final month leading up to the 2016 election.
“I hope people are looking at the disgraceful behavior of Hillary Clinton as exposed by WikiLeaks,” Trump tweeted Oct. 11, 2016. “She is unfit to run.”
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
“Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks,” Trump tweeted again the next day. “So dishonest! Rigged system!”
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
With Assage’s arrest in the United Kingdom, the WikiLeaks founder faces possible extradition to the United States.