I understand why Vladimir Putin would want to do anything he can to put Donald Trump in the White House, because a Trump presidency would fuel a resurgence of Russian aggression on the world stage. Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had already attempted a complete makeover for Putin surrogate Viktor Yanukovych, before the former Prime Minister had to flee from Ukraine to Russia to avoid a newly incensed population in Ukraine. Manafort’s advising of Yanukovych ended badly two years ago, but the Trumpmeister’s business dealings in Russia and Ukraine continue. There’s no sense in letting a stinging political defeat interfere with one’s own personal financial interests.
What I don’t quite understand is Julian Assange’s position. The leak of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails hacked, presumably, by the Russians, on the eve of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia was obviously intended to harm the Hillary Clinton campaign, but to what end? To give a last boost to Bernie Sanders’ supporters at the convention? Or to help ensure an eventual Donald Trump victory?
Assange had announced the coming Clinton leak back in June. When he was asked then if he’d prefer Trump as president, he replied that what Trump would do as president was “completely unpredictable,” whereas we know that Hillary would be a liberal war hawk and continue what Assange sees as her attacks on freedom of the press. He also views her as a personal foe.
The timing and method of the release of the DNC emails drew a Tweeted rebuke by Edward Snowden on Thursday: “Democratizing information has never been more vital, and @Wikileaks has helped. But their hostility to even modest curation is a mistake.” Assange responded within an hour and a half, impugning Snowden’s motives: “@Snowden. Opportunism won’t earn you a pardon from Clinton & curation is not censorship of ruling party cash flows.”
Meanwhile, Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Trump’s 1987 book The Art of the Deal, which sold over a million copies and earned its author and subject millions of dollars in royalties, has come out to decry the book and the Real Trump he discovered in the writing of the book. In an interview with Jane Mayer for the New Yorker, published on July 25, 2016, Schwartz said, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility that it will lead to the end of civilization.”
David Levi Strauss
Sunday, July 31, 2016, 11:55 pm EDT
[Photography: Jon Winet. Acceptance Speech. July 212, 2016. Convention Hall. Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland, Ohio. Click on image to see an enlargement.]
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