President Trump gave a lengthy interview to the Associated Press earlier on Friday during which, among many other things, he declared that if his Department of Justice via Jeff Sessions wants to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, it’s totally OK on his part.
First, the AP reporter asked President Trump if he feels accountable for the 100 day plan he boasted as a candidate. Trump said that the respective plan was put out as a concept of sorts and his administration is “mostly there” on the majority of issues/items, but there has to be flexibility as things change and so on and so forth.
Alright, that’s understandable, candidate Trump was a different “animal” so to speak vs President Trump with regards to the amount of information and real knowledge regarding the situation “in the field”.
To quote President Trump:
But things change. There has to be flexibility. Let me give you an example. President Xi, we have a, like, a really great relationship. For me to call him a currency manipulator and then say, “By the way, I’d like you to solve the North Korean problem,” doesn’t work. So you have to have a certain flexibility, Number One. Number Two, from the time I took office till now, you know, it’s a very exact thing. It’s not like generalities.
I would advise you to read the whole interview if you want to grasp the fine details and to be able to put things into context/perspective. However, what caught my attention was an issue I’ve already covered recently, and I am talking about Trump’s CIA boss Mike Pompeo’s statements about WikiLeaks acting as a non state foreign/hostile intelligence service and its founder Julian Assange’s days as a free person being numbered.
Judging from the interview, it appears that Mr. Trump doesn’t really appreciate Mr. Assange’s help, the man who basically crushed Clinton’s chances of becoming the next POTUS via the PODESTA email revelations.
Let’s see the exact excerpt from the AP interview:
TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out … never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, “Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff.” You know, they tried to hack the Republican, the RNC, but we had good defenses. They didn’t have defenses, which is pretty bad management. But we had good defenses, they tried to hack both of them. They weren’t able to get through to Republicans. No, I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, “Wow.” It was just a figure of speech. I said, “Well, look at this. It’s good reading.”
AP: But that didn’t mean that you supported what Assange is doing?
TRUMP: No, I don’t support or unsupport. It was just information. They shouldn’t have allowed it to get out. If they had the proper defensive devices on their internet, you know, equipment, they wouldn’t even allow the FBI. How about this — they get hacked, and the FBI goes to see them, and they won’t let the FBI see their server. But do you understand, nobody ever writes it. Why wouldn’t (former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John) Podesta and Hillary Clinton allow the FBI to see the server? They brought in another company that I hear is Ukrainian-based.
TRUMP: That’s what I heard. I heard it’s owned by a very rich Ukrainian, that’s what I heard. But they brought in another company to investigate the server. Why didn’t they allow the FBI in to investigate the server? I mean, there is so many things that nobody writes about. It’s incredible.
AP: Can I just ask you, though — do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange?
TRUMP: I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it’s OK with me. I didn’t know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it’s OK with me.
Provided Mr. Trump is telling the truth, i.e. he doesn’t really know the details about his Department of Justice’s intentions with regard to Mr. Assange’s fate, it definitely looks like any chance for him pardoning WikiLeaks’ founder is now gone baby gone. However, let’s remember the love fest from just half a year ago: