WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange marked the site’s 10th anniversary on 4 October 2016 by saying WikiLeaks would release material over the next ten weeks that was “significant” to the U.S. presidential election. But the announcement rang hollow to conservative supporters who were banking on his posting information that would undermine Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Assange made his announcement by video link to a news conference in Berlin and said that the site would “need an army” to defend itself from pressure as it leaks the information:
However, Assange also rebuked what he called a “misquoting” regarding his intentions in making the announcement:
In this particular case, the misquoting has to do with that we intend to harm Hillary Clinton, or that I intend to harm Hillary Clinton or that I don’t like Hillary Clinton. All of those are false. They come about as a result principally, it seems, of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and defenders trying to personalize our publications.
Whether “misquoting” or not, right-wing figures such as Roger Stone — an ally of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump — were touting Assange’s announcement beforehand as the “October Surprise” that would do her in:
Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) October 2, 2016
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) October 3, 2016
Stone has not Tweeted about Assange’s actual announcement, but other fans hoping to see something damaging to Clinton come out were disappointed. Infowars host Alex Jones was also upset with Assange for “trolling” rather than delivering the goods:
You trolled the world. We were up here covering it live at night. And now nothings’ coming. I think they’ve gotten to Assange and promised him some sort of immunity deal if he rolls over. I think the deal’s been made. He got indicted by that other court in Europe last week. I think the pressure’s on.
Assange has not been indicted by any U.S. entity, but a Swedish appeals court decided in September 2016 to uphold the warrant for his arrest in connection with allegations of sexual assault stemming from a 2010 visit he made to Stockholm to deliver a lecture.