Julian Assange: Choosing Between Trump or Clinton is Like Picking Between Cholera or Gonorrhea
Following the end of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump has received a surge in his popularity. He’s now leading Hillary Clinton 44 to 39 percent in a four-way match-up, according to the most recent CNN poll. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson received 9 percent, and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein received 3 percent. But for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the threat of a Donald Trump presidency doesn’t inspire him to back Hillary Clinton. When asked, Assange said: “You’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea?”
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Julian, we cut you off earlier when you were talking about what you felt were the most significant emails that you have released. Is there any last one that you’d like to mention? And also, do you have any thoughts on Donald Trump? I mean, just before we went to air, a CNN poll came out that says Donald Trump is ahead by 5 percentage points of Hillary Clinton. Now, he did just come off of the Republican convention, but many called it the worst convention in history, so it’s not automatic that he should have had this percentage lead. Of course, though, you have the crisis, the disarray, the Democratic Party is in because of these emails that you’ve released.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, you’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea? Personally, I would prefer neither. Look, I think—you know, we know how politics works in the United States. Whoever—whatever political party gets into government is going to merge with the bureaucracy pretty damn fast. It will be in a position where it has some levers in its hand. And so, as a result, corporate lobbyists will move in to help control those levers. So it doesn’t make much difference in the end. What does make a difference is political accountability, a general deterrence set to stop political organizations behaving in a corrupt manner. That can make a difference, because that changes the perception of what you can do or not do. And so, always—well, almost always, you should choose the principled position, which is to set a disciplinary signal about acting in a corrupt way, and take a philosophical position, which is our institutions can only be as good as our understanding of our institutions.
AMY GOODMAN: We want to—
JULIAN ASSANGE: Now, are you asking—the other—
AMY GOODMAN: Yes, go ahead, Julian.
JULIAN ASSANGE: The other top emails, well, as I said, I think this instruction by Luis Miranda, the head of communications, to go out and covertly spread anti-Bernie Sanders propaganda is a clear instruction combined with a chain of command. It’s not simply expressing a sentiment. It is expressing an instruction within the DNC to subvert the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Then there’s a lot of emails about the close relationship between the DNC and the media—The Washington Post involved in a co-fundraising party, an off-list co-fundraising for the DNC, calling up MSNBC during the middle of a program and saying, “Pull that segment now,” Debbie Wasserman Schultz calling up the president of MSNBC in order to discipline Morning Joe, etc. That’s, you know, of course, something that we’ve all suspected happens, but this is concrete proof of it.
But, you know, I really encourage people to research the more than 8,000 attachments that we put out, separate files, including more than 175 spreadsheets. That has the real core, the financial core, of the power structure and the exercise of monetary influence over the DNC. And that’s something that’s going to seed journalistic investigations for years.
AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange, we want to thank you for being with us. Julian Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. This is Democracy Now! You can go online at democracynow.org to read the transcript or to hear again either the audio podcast or the video, see the video of this interview. We’re broadcasting from the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. It’s the first day. It will be gaveled in in just a couple of hours from this broadcast. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. When we come back, a debate. Stay with us.