WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange foreshadowed the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails more than a month before the archive of emails was published ahead of the Democratic National Convention.
Assange’s comments in a June 12 interview with ITV made it clear that he intended to harm Hillary Clinton’s chance of winning the presidency, and timed the release of the emails to coincide with the start of the convention, an interview first highlighted by the New York Times.
During the interview, Assange told British TV host Robert Preston that WikiLeaks had obtained “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” which he said were “great.”
Assange’s comments to ITV received little attention at the time, in part because Preston and other media outlets, including TIME, that covered the interview appeared to assume he was discussing emails from Clinton’s private server she used while serving as Secretary of State.
However, following DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation Monday in light of the leaked emails, Assange told Democracy Now! that he had intended for the emails to release at the same time as the convention.
“Often it’s the case that we have to do a lot of exploration and marketing of the material we publish ourselves to get a big political impact for it,” he said. “But in this case, we knew, because of the pending DNC, because of the degree of interest in the U.S. election, we didn’t need to establish partnerships with the New York Times or the Washington Post.”