A series of leaked chat messages set up for WikiLeaks staffers show why founder Julian Assange showed a preference for a Republican president, as well as a sympathetic view of Russian foreign policy.
The Intercept has obtained the chats from a former WikiLeaks supporter and volunteer, who decided to leak the messages after learning of WikiLeaks’ contacts with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 presidential election.
The chatroom is described as a “low security channel,” which The Intercept speculates is why the messages posted in it do not reveal any of Assange’s sources for leaked documents, nor do they reveal any efforts on Assange’s part to communicate directly with the Trump campaign.
Even so, they do show Assange to be sympathetic toward Russia’s foreign policy aims, while at the same time showing his preference to see a Republican candidate win the presidency in 2016.
With regards to his preference for the GOP to win, Assange explained in the chats that he believed the American left would do more to resist American foreign policy with a Republican in the Oval Office than it had done during former President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House.
“We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” Assange wrote in one message. “Dems+Media+liberals woudl (sic) then form a block to reign in their worst qualities,” he wrote. “With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute.”
When it comes to Russian foreign policy, Assange said that it had only “minor” imperial aims and suggested that Russia’s domestic repression was a justified response to American military and cultural aggression.
Specifically, he said that “invading ‘western’ cultural practices like gays and the internet” were pushing Russia to become more authoritarian, while at the same time insisting that Russia itself was “on the defensive and terrified as the the US produces its next generation weapons and enroaches inexorably.”