Trump Fans Get Conned Again, But This Time Not by Trump

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Good news comes in all sorts of forms. Today it comes from WikiLeaks, which has been promising for a while that it would release devastating new leaks about Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, news that Trump fans have been eagerly awaiting. Well, Der Tag arrived this morning in London, and it turns out that October Surprises aren’t what they used to be:

Over the course of two hours Tuesday—with the world’s media and bleary-eyed Trump die-hards across the United States tuning in—Assange and other WikiLeaks officials railed against “neo-McCarthyist hysteria,” blasted the mainstream press, appealed for donations and plugged their books (“40 percent off!”). But what they didn’t do was provide any new information about Clinton—or about anything else, really.

The much-vaunted news conference, as it turned out, was little more than an extended infomercial for WikiLeaks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its founding.

…That didn’t go over well with Trump backers who had stayed up through the night, thinking they’d be watching live the unveiling of the death blow to the Clinton campaign. Assange, as it turns out, had taken a page from Trump’s own playbook by drawing an audience with a tease, only to leave those tuning in feeling that they’d been tricked.

Ha ha ha. If Trump can fool the nation’s media into giving him an hour of free nationwide publicity for his new hotel by promising a birther bombshell, then it’s only fair that WikiLeaks can go to the same well and play publicity-mongering head games too. And who better to play head games with than Donald Trump’s own supporters?1

It’s remarkable the number of disparate enemies Clinton has made. There are all the usual Arkansas Project alumni here in the United States, of course. There are the Bernie die-hards. There’s Vladimir Putin, who took personal exception to Clinton’s suggestion that Russian elections were not entirely on the up-and-up. And there’s Julian Assange, who hates Clinton because—well, it’s not clear why. She’s a corporatist warmonger, of course. But more particularly, she’d really like to see Assange in jail, and Assange seems to view that as unfriendly.

They say you can judge a person by the enemies she makes. On that score, I guess you’d have to say that Hillary Clinton has done pretty well for herself.

1Assange, for his part, says he’s been totally misunderstood. He actually has nothing against Hillary Clinton. And he’s still got some “US election-related documents” that he’ll release before November 8. Stay tuned!!!

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

payment methods

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate