REPORT: TRUMP JR. EXCHANGED MESSAGES WITH WIKILEAKS DURING PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
President Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. exchanged private Twitter messages with WikiLeaks during and after the 2016 presidential election, according to a report in The Atlantic yesterday (November 13th). Hours after the report, Trump Jr. released the series of messages, which began in September 2016 and continued through this past July, and downplayed them, saying they showed he'd responded just three times. He tweeted: “Here is the entire chain of messages with @wikileaks (with my whopping 3 responses) which one of the congressional committees has chosen to selectively leak. How ironic!" Trump Jr.'s lawyers had released the exchanges to congressional committees investigating Russia's interference in the election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign. The messages included:
- Trump Jr. agreed to "ask around" about a political action committee WikiLeaks mentioned to him.
- WikiLeaks sent Trump Jr. an article that included critical comments Hillary Clinton had made about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and told him, "it'd be great if you guys could comment on/push this story." He answered: "Already did that earlier today. It’s amazing what she can get away with." Trump Jr. then asked: "What's behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?" Trump associate Roger Stone had tweeted the day before that on Wednesday, "Hillary Clinton is done," referring to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks didn't answer, but began releasing Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's stolen emails days later. After the emails were released, WikiLeaks sent Trump Jr. a searchable link of them, which he tweeted two days later.
- WikiLeaks asked Trump Jr. to release Donald Trump's taxes to them, saying it would blunt the appearance of them favoring Trump over Clinton in their leaks. Trump Jr. didn't respond.
- WikiLeaks advised on Election Day that Trump shouldn't concede if he lost to Clinton. Trump Jr. didn't respond.
- WikiLeaks suggested that Donald Trump encourage Australia to appoint Assange, who's an Australian citizen, as ambassador to the U.S. Trump Jr. didn't respond.