WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Jokes That Team Is "Working On" Hacking Donald Trump's Tax Returns

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange jokes that the organization is "working on" hacking Donald Trump's tax returns.

Gage Skidmore
Image via Flickr
Gage Skidmore

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange opened his interview on Friday's Real Time With Bill Maher by calling the organization's dump of nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails "definitely good fun"—and kept his swings toward the DNC coming.

"I'm super happy with how [that email dump] has gone," Assange, who was speaking via satellite from London's Ecuadorian embassy, said. He called the four resignations that have come in the wake of the dump "instant accountability."

"There was a concerted effort through the chain of command to make sure Bernie Sanders didn't win," Assange added, pointing to emails from former communications director Luis Miranda directing staff to circulate reports that Sanders supporters engaged in acts of violence. "This is the DNC demonizing [...] a Democrat." 

He also argued that because the DNC simultaneously claimed the same thing about Trump's supporters, the committee "watered down critique" of the Trump campaign. Maher implied that, because of Assange's alleged personal dislike of Hillary Clinton, Assange and WikiLeaks had colluded with Russian intelligence agents to work against her campaign by releasing the DNC emails. 

"It looks like you're working with a bad actor, Russia, to put your thumb on the scale and basically fuck with the one person who stands in the way of us being ruled by Donald Trump," Maher said to a room filled with raucous applause. "So why don't you hack into Donald Trump's tax returns?" Maher asked.

Assange's response: "Well, we're working on it." (The organization's Twitter account clarified the following morning that Assange's comment was a joke.) 

The interview came a week after WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden tousled on Twitter, debating how much information (like social security numbers and credit card data) should be made public in a document leak. On July 28, Snowden called Wikileaks' "hostility to even modest curation" a "mistake." Maher asked Assange about the exchange, and Assange told the host that WikiLeaks had "saved [Snowden's] ass" in 2013 after the publication of NSA intelligence and charged—as WikiLeaks' Twitter account did last week—that Snowden is merely seeking a political pardon.

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