Hillary Clinton didn’t hold back her glee at the arrest of Julian Assange, mocking both the publisher who she blames for her failed presidential run and the man she lost to in a single “we came, we saw, he died”-level one-liner.
“I do think it’s a little ironic that he may be the only foreigner that this administration would welcome to the United States,” Clinton quipped onstage at a speaking event in New York, chuckling at her own wit and basking in the audience’s mirth.
The former First Lady and failed presidential candidate was asked about the Wikileaks founder’s arrest during the talk – which also included her husband – by moderator (and former Clinton staffer) Paul Begala, who set the stage by quipping that it “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy” after reminding Clinton that she “had some familiarity with the work of Mr. Assange” to audience guffaws.
While Clinton had promised her audience before the talk not to mention President Donald Trump by name – a trick she stole from former president Barack Obama – she had no problem making excuses for his government’s actions.
“It is clear from the indictment that came out that it’s not about punishing journalism, it’s about assisting the hacking of the military computer to steal information from the US government,” she admonished. “The bottom line is that he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it’s been charged.”
Clinton infamously delivered the line “We came, we saw, he died” in reference to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was brutally murdered during the NATO invasion of Libya that was one of the highlights of her tenure as Obama’s secretary of state.
WikiLeaks published thousands of incriminating and embarrassing private email messages stolen from former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee in the run-up to the 2016 election, exposing extensive corruption and malfeasance on the part of the Clinton campaign. Many – including Clinton herself – believe the leak cost her the election.
While Assange faces extradition to the US on charges he conspired with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer in 2010 – charges totally unrelated to the 2016 DNC and Podesta leaks – Clinton clearly believes the later leaks are a more serious crime. The DNC – which the leaked emails revealed she controls financially – filed a lawsuit against WikiLeaks last year, accusing the publisher of colluding with Russia and the Trump campaign to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency” – but never denying the emails’ contents were genuine.
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