Report: Trump Jr communicated with WikiLeaks before election


Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyers have turned over his private correspondence to congressional investigators, as part of the ongoing investigations into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Among that correspondence are private Twitter messages between Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks, according to a report published Monday afternoon by The Atlantic.

The report included details on several messages, including a private Twitter message sent by WikiLeaks to Trump Jr. just before midnight on September 20, 2016.

“A PAC run anti-Trump site is about to launch,” WikiLeaks wrote. “The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?”

The next morning, Trump Jr. responded, saying, “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around. Thanks.”

According to a source familiar with the congressional investigations into Russian interference with the 2016 campaign, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, on the same day that Trump Jr. received the first message from WikiLeaks, he emailed other senior officials with the Trump campaign, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, telling them WikiLeaks had made contact. Kushner then forwarded the email to campaign communications staffer Hope Hicks.

The Atlantic states that the multitude of messages shows that WikiLeaks was actively soliciting Trump Jr.’s cooperation, and made several bold requests, including asking him to provide his father’s tax returns, encouraging the Trump campaign on Election Day to reject the results of the election as “rigged”, and requesting a favor from president-elect Trump – they wanted him to ask Australia to appoint WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as ambassador to the United States.

The Atlanta states that Trump Jr. mostly ignored the many messages from WikiLeaks, although he did respond to some.

On October 3, 2016, WikiLeaks sent another message, saying, “Hiya, it’d be great if you guys could comment on/push this story,” and attached a quote from then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton about wanting to “just drone” WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

Another message from WikiLeaks on October 12, 2016 commented on the fact that then-candidate Donald Trump had mentioned WikiLeaks at a campaign rally, and said, “Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us,” and pointed to the link, which it said would help Trump’s followers dig through the trove of stolen documents and find stories. “There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your follows [sic] will find it,” WikiLeaks continued. “Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.”

Trump Jr. reportedly did not respond to that message.

“Over the last several months, we have worked cooperatively with each of the committees and have voluntarily turned over thousands of documents in response to their requests,” said Alan Futerfas, an attorney for Donald Trump Jr. “Putting aside the question as to why or by whom such documents, provided to Congress under promises of confidentiality, have been selectively leaked, we can say with confidence that we have no concerns about these documents and any questions raised about them have been easily answered in the appropriate forum.”

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