Years before his Justice Department charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with conspiracy, Donald Trump praised the website for disclosing damaging information about his political opponents and encouraged his millions of supporters to read the organization’s latest document dumps.
But on Thursday, after the Justice Department unsealed an indictment charging Assange for actions stemming from WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of classified diplomatic and military documents, Trump acted as if he’d never heard of the anti-secrecy group.
“I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I know there is something having to do with Julian Assange.”
In fact, Trump was one of WikiLeaks’ most vocal supporters on the campaign trail, once confessing to supporters at a rally in Ohio that he almost didn’t get off his plane because “they were just announcing new WikiLeaks, and I wanted to stay there, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting.”