In the month before his election in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump uttered the word WikiLeaks 141 times.
But conveniently on Thursday, just after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London and charged by federal prosecutors with hacking a government computer network, Trump seems to know “nothing” about the website he used to “love.”
“I know nothing about WikiLeaks, it’s not my thing,” he told reporters Thursday. “I know there is something having to do with Julian Assange, I’ve been seeing what’s happened with Assange and that will be a determination I would imagine by the attorney general who is doing an excellent job so he will be making a determination. I know nothing really about him, it’s not my deal in life.”
Fortunately, Trump can’t rewrite history on this issue. The receipts are everywhere.
During campaign rallies throughout the fall of 2016, Trump couldn’t help but gloat over the information that surfaced after WikiLeaks allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee server and dumped a trove of emails online.
In October of that year, Trump could barely go a week without singing WikiLeaks praises:
— Oct. 10, 2016: “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”
— Oct. 13, 2016: “It’s amazing what’s coming out on WikiLeaks. … They want to distract us from WikiLeaks.”
— Oct. 20, 2016: “We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks.”
— Oct. 29, 2016: “This WikiLeaks is fascinating.”
— Oct. 31, 2016: “This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove.”
— Nov. 4, 2016: “I was just getting off the plane and they were just announcing new WikiLeaks and I wanted to stay but I didn’t want to keep you waiting. … Boy I love reading those WikiLeaks.”
In the same span of time, Trump tweeted about the website at least 11 times, ranging from critiques of the media for not covering the scandal to his liking to using revelations as fodder to attack his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2016
I hope people are looking at the disgraceful behavior of Hillary Clinton as exposed by WikiLeaks. She is unfit to run.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2016
The Wikileaks e-mail release today was so bad to Sanders that it will make it impossible for him to support her, unless he is a fraud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
Why has nobody asked Kaine about the horrible views emanated on WikiLeaks about Catholics? Media in the tank for Clinton but Trump will win!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2016
And the more President Trump attempts to distance himself from Assange as his Justice Department determines how to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder, the more cable news will broadcast its own mashups highlighting the President’s past comments.
Trump's WikiLeaks love pic.twitter.com/I3cElSqhOD
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 11, 2019