Donald Trump is gunning for Hillary Clinton, and he’s now invited Russia to help him in the task. But if the Wikileaks release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails shows just how disruptive those kinds of unexpected releases can be, Clinton should be worried about another potentially formidable foe: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who could still put out more information that affects how voters perceive the Democratic presidential nominee.
Assange told CNN Tuesday that his website may release “a lot more material” relevant to Clinton’s election campaign, which already appears to have been damaged by the site’s release of 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee on the eve of the party’s nominating convention. The revelations led to the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and cast a shadow over the convention’s early proceedings.
Assange is clearly aiming to disrupt the system, regardless of which party is affected. In an interview with Democracy Now, Assange likens choosing between Clinton and Trump as making a decision between cholera and gonorrhea: “Whoever—whatever political party gets into government is going to merge with the bureaucracy pretty damn fast,” he said. “It will be in a position where it has some levers in its hand. And so, as a result, corporate lobbyists will move in to help control those levers. So it doesn’t make much difference in the end.”
In a June 12 interview with British television network ITV, Assange said he had “accumulated a lot of material on Hillary Clinton,” who he sees as having a “long history of being a war hawk” who would not be good for freedom of the press. In the same interview, Assange said he has enough material to support an indictment of Clinton.
That suggests Clinton’s camp has to worry about ongoing, strategically-timed releases of potentially embarrassing information — or at least information that might produce headlines that clash with their intended messaging.
There are indications that future disclosures will zero in on the relationships between donors and the Democratic campaign. Assange told Democracy Now that he has “a lot of emails about the close relationship between the DNC and the media — The Washington Post involved in a co-fundraising party, an off-list co-fundraising for the DNC, calling up MSNBC during the middle of a program and saying, ‘Pull that segment now,’ Debbie Wasserman Schultz calling up the president of MSNBC in order to discipline Morning Joe, etc. That’s, you know, of course, something that we’ve all suspected happens, but this is concrete proof of it.”
Others suspect there will be more emails about the Clinton Foundation. Whatever Assange has, though, it’s likely to mean more headaches for Clinton and her campaign.