Ahead of Jullian Assange's interview tonight on Fox News with Sean Hannity, in which as we previewed last night the Wikileaks founder will again deny on the record that Russia was the source of hacked Democratic emails, stating that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party", Wikileaks decided to engage in some creative marketing and, on Monday afternoon promised that 2017 will be an even bigger year for leaks than 2016, which saw the whistleblowing site publish thousands of documents exposing the dirty laundry of the Clinton campaign, US political secrets, covert trade deals and private communications from global leaders.
“If you thought 2016 was a big WikiLeaks year, 2017 will blow you away,” WikiLeaks tweeted on Monday, giving no hints as to what may be in store. The tweet, featuring a clip from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western showdown, also included a link to its website’s donation page so people can help the site “prepare for the showdown.
2016 was another game-changing for the whistleblowing site, as it delivered a massive trove of documents over the 12-month period. These included over 50,000 emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair and more than 27,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee, which confirmed the DNC worked against Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, favoring Clinton, and ultimately led to the resignation of then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
The emails relating to the US election rocked the Democratic establishment and delivered a blow to the Clinton campaign in the lead-up to the November election; according to many the Podesta revelations tipped the election against Hillary Clinton. The outcry against the the two sets of releases was so profound, it sparked a global diplomatic scandal between the US and Russia, and as a result of Obama administration accusations that the leaks were orchestrated by the Kremlin, the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and seized two Russian compounds last week. Contrary to expectations, Putin refused to retaliate in tit-for-tat fashion, instead suggesting he is simply waiting for the arrival of the Trump administration to rebuild relations with the US.
Wikileaks also released more US State Department cables, as well as documents which gave an insight into the US arming of Yemen. Text from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) was also revealed.
On Monday, WikiLeaks also confirmed that founder Julian Assange (who some have speculated has been compromised) will take part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Thursday at 14:00 GMT (9:00 Eastern). The tweet announcing the AMA contained the hashtag ‘proofoflife’, presumably referencing concerns raised by some for the WikiLeaks editor’s wellbeing.