‘This is the most significant email in the whole collection’
In an extended interview at the Ecuadorian embassy in London with documentary maker John Pilger for RT, Mr Assange said the same Saudi and Qatari officials could be seen to be supporting both the Clinton Foundation – founded by Mrs Clinton’s husband Bill – and funding the activities of Isis.Mr Pilger asked if Mr Assange believed that “this notorious jihadist group, called Isil or Isis, is created largely with money from people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation”
“Yes,” Mr Assange replied.
The WikiLeaks founder pointed to an email exchange between presidential hopeful Ms Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta, leaked by his organisation last month, which he believes “is the most significant email in the whole collection”.
In the email sent on August 17 2014, Ms Clinton asked Mr Podesta, who at that time worked under president Barack Obama, to help put “pressure” on Qatar and Saudi Arabia regarding the countries’ alleged support for the terrorist group Isis.
“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isil and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Ms Clinton wrote.
Mr Assange noted the US government had never acknowledged governments of Middle East nations had financially supported Isis, instead arguing such support was isolated to “some rogue princes using their cut of the oil money to do whatever they like, although the government disapproves”, according to the WikiLeaks founder.
According to the Clinton Foundation, the Saudi Arabian government has donated between $10m (£8m) and $25million since the foundation was set up in 1997. Last month it was reported the government of Qatar offered to donate $1m to the foundation in celebration of Bill Clinton’s birthday.
Representatives from the Clinton Foundation have repeatedly denied accusations Ms Clinton has solicited funds and used donations to boost her campaign. There were no donations from Saudi Arabia while she was acting as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.
Mr Assange also used the interview to dismiss the prospect of a Donald Trump victory in next week’s election, which the polls show will be close.
“My analysis is that Trump will not be permitted to win. Why do I say that? Because he has had every establishment against him. Trump does not have one establishment, maybe with the exception of the Evangelicals, if you can call them an establishment.
“Banks, intelligence, arms companies, foreign money, etc are all united behind Hillary Clinton. And the media as well. Media owners, and the journalists themselves.”
In October, Ecuador’s government confirmed it had “temporarily restricted” Mr Assange’s internet access at its London embassy, to prevent him “meddling in the election process” in the US.