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After a cacophony of excitement leading up to a major address by Julian Assange on Tuesday morning, the WikiLeaks founder celebrated the group's 10-year anniversary—but the expected death blow to Hillary Clinton's campaign never came.
Prior to Assange's press conference, many anticipated Assange would reveal information that would be damaging to the Democratic presidential nominee. Fox & Friends teased that the announcement was about the presidential race; Roger Stone, a former Trump advisor, exclaimed that damaging Clinton files from Wikileaks were on the way (though he said it would arrive on Wednesday); and archconservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, founder of Infowars, promised “historic live coverage.”
Instead, Assange vowed to release “significant material” over the next 10 weeks about the United States election, mass surveillance, Google, and war.
Many Donald Trump fans were disappointed in the announcement. Originally hoping for an “October surprise” to swing the U.S. presidential election in the Republican nominee's favor, Trump fans on Reddit called the WikiLeaks announcement “much ado about nothing.”
“There is enormous expectation in the United States.”
Trump supporters' affection for WikiLeaks can be traced back to the Democratic National Committee leaks, published over the summer, that caused significant turbulence for the Democratic Party, including the resignation of Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other top DNC officials.
Trump fans dealt with their disappointment in different ways. The top post on Reddit's r/the_donald community assured supporters that “our goals are still every bit as valid as yesterday.” Jones became irate at the lack of leaks this morning. He called Assange a “sociopath” and a “Hillary butt plug.”
Their frustration boiled over as Assange spoke for 30 minutes in a black shirt with the word ‘truth’ on the chest.
The first publication of this new series will take place this week, Assange said. He hopes to release all U.S. election-related material by Nov. 8 when votes are cast.
“There is enormous expectation in the United States,” Assange told a crowd in Berlin via video link on Tuesday morning. “Some of that expectation will be partly answered; but you should understand that if we're going to make a major publication in relation to the United States at a particular hour, we don't do it at 3am.”