Those neocon hacks aren't puppeteering him, however. If they don't like the idea of a pardon, he'll invite them to walk or fire them himself.His entire cabinet is made up of the neocon hacks who wanted to kill Assange way back when. John Bolton is his fucking National Security Adviser. The Chief Spook, Mike Pompeo, is Secretary of State. Trump has literally nothing to gain by pardoning Assange and a whole lot to lose in terms of fueling the Russian Conspiracy meme. There's a reason when Assange got arrested he suddenly switched to "I don't know anything about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing". when in October 2016 he kept repeating WIkiLeaks like a tic.
"whole lot to lose"
Like what? No one cares about the Russia conspiracy. The media and the FBI keep a vain hope alive because they would lose a major talking point if they didn't. The electoral college in particular did not care during the 2016 election about these unproven allegations.