17:38 GMT13 April 2021
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    Donald Trump mentioned WikiLeaks publication of Hillary Clinton’s emails repeatedly during his 2016 presidential campaign.

    US President Trump attempted to distance himself from the WikiLeaks controversy following the arrest of its founder Julian Assange in the UK.

    "I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office when asked if he still loves the organisation.

    ​While he admitted he has "been seeing what's happened with Assange", he still insisted that Washington's position towards the WikiLeaks founder will be determined by Attorney General William Barr.

    There are fears that the UK may extradite Assange to the US where he will be tried and possibly imprisoned on charges of computer hacking, according to a report by The Hill, even though London issued a written reassurance to Ecuador that it will not extradite Assange to a country where he may face the death penalty.

    ​Many media outlets and social media users immediately called out President Trump for contradicting himself, considering his extensive references to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign. The website published leaked emails of his rival Hillary Clinton that Trump took advantage of on numerous occasions during the presidential race.

    "I love WikiLeaks", Trump said at an October 2016 rally in Pennsylvania.

    "Getting off the plane, they were just announcing new WikiLeaks, and I wanted to stay there, but I didn't want to keep you waiting", he said later in November. "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks".

    NBC News counted that Trump mentioned WikiLeaks 145 times in October alone. The Daily Beast tweeted a montage of Trump's numerous WikiLeaks mentions made throughout his campaign.

    Julian Assange had been staying in Ecuadorian Embassy for seven years, unable to leave the building, until his political asylum was revoked by Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno earlier this week. He was arrested by UK police on the embassy's premises and forcefully dragged out of the building. Soon after his arrest, the US Justice Department unsealed an indictment accusing Assange of conspiring with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning to break a computer password in order to access classified government materials, The Hill report says.


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