Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has offered guarded praise of Donald Trump, arguing the president-elect “is not a DC insider” and could mean an opportunity for positive as well as negative change in the US.
Assange described his feelings about the US election results in an interview as “mixed” before going on to sharply criticize Democratic nominee Hillary Clintonand providing a more ambivalent assessment of Trump’s ascent to the White House.
“Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States,” Assange told the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.
“Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities.”
He added: “They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better.”
In the week leading up to the election, Assange used his whistleblowing website to publish a cascade of emails connected to the Democratic party and the Clinton campaign.