Trump Fans Get Conned Again, But This Time Not by Trump

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Good news comes in all sorts of forms. Today it comes from WikiLeaks, which has been promising for a while that it would release devastating new leaks about Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, news that Trump fans have been eagerly awaiting. Well, Der Tag arrived this morning in London, and it turns out that October Surprises aren’t what they used to be:

Over the course of two hours Tuesday—with the world’s media and bleary-eyed Trump die-hards across the United States tuning in—Assange and other WikiLeaks officials railed against “neo-McCarthyist hysteria,” blasted the mainstream press, appealed for donations and plugged their books (“40 percent off!”). But what they didn’t do was provide any new information about Clinton—or about anything else, really.

The much-vaunted news conference, as it turned out, was little more than an extended infomercial for WikiLeaks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its founding.

…That didn’t go over well with Trump backers who had stayed up through the night, thinking they’d be watching live the unveiling of the death blow to the Clinton campaign. Assange, as it turns out, had taken a page from Trump’s own playbook by drawing an audience with a tease, only to leave those tuning in feeling that they’d been tricked.

Ha ha ha. If Trump can fool the nation’s media into giving him an hour of free nationwide publicity for his new hotel by promising a birther bombshell, then it’s only fair that WikiLeaks can go to the same well and play publicity-mongering head games too. And who better to play head games with than Donald Trump’s own supporters?1

It’s remarkable the number of disparate enemies Clinton has made. There are all the usual Arkansas Project alumni here in the United States, of course. There are the Bernie die-hards. There’s Vladimir Putin, who took personal exception to Clinton’s suggestion that Russian elections were not entirely on the up-and-up. And there’s Julian Assange, who hates Clinton because—well, it’s not clear why. She’s a corporatist warmonger, of course. But more particularly, she’d really like to see Assange in jail, and Assange seems to view that as unfriendly.

They say you can judge a person by the enemies she makes. On that score, I guess you’d have to say that Hillary Clinton has done pretty well for herself.

1Assange, for his part, says he’s been totally misunderstood. He actually has nothing against Hillary Clinton. And he’s still got some “US election-related documents” that he’ll release before November 8. Stay tuned!!!

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate