On the eve of a planned visit to Washington and a meeting with President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was suddenly finding herself with more to worry about than getting along with the new American president. At least the cancellation of the trip because of bad weather will allow her to concentrate on trouble closer to home.
After a broad hint Monday by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks that it plans to release “intercepts” of Merkel’s conversations obtained from the CIA and the National Security Agency, the long-serving German leader might be worrying more about whether she’ll still have a career for long.
WickiLeaks’ announcement, made on Twitter, came a week after the “Vault 7” documents on American surveillance efforts — including tactics involving televisions and smartphones — were released by the hacktivist group.
“Terrified talk in U.S. national security circles that WikiLeaks is going to publish many CIA or NSA intercepts of Merkel tonight or tomorrow,” the tweet read.
This wouldn’t be the first time WikiLeaks has involved itself in the career of the German leader. A 2016 leak from the organization revealed that the NSA had surreptitiously recorded a 2008 meeting between Merkel and then-U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
In 2013, German newspaper Der Spiegel also revealed that Merkel’s cellphone had been tapped by the NSA.
Since the immigration crisis crashed on Europe in 2015, Merkel has been the public face of welcoming refugees from the Middle East — even receiving Time’s “Person of the Year” award in 2015.
But her position has also threatened her popularity among German voters, and if the WikiLeaks material contains information damning enough about how she has brought in more than a million largely Muslim outsiders into her country without support among the citizenry, it could well mean the end of Merkel’s 12 years running the wealthiest country in the European Union.
CNBC reported last year that Merkel was expected to hold on to her position as chancellor in the 2017 election. However, anti-establishment sentiment has grown throughout Europe, and it’s possible that she could be the latest casualty.
While releasing the documents during Merkel’s visit would have been a coup for WikiLeaks, their hype and innuendo seems to have been all for naught. According to the U.K. Independent, the trip has been canceled at the last minute due to the snowstorm working its way up the East Coast.
H/T The Daily Caller
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