Report links Trump Jr. with WikiLeaks in 2016


NEW YORK — Donald Trump Jr. corresponded with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign — and the presidential son appears to have acted on requests made by the transparency organization, according to a new report.

As the investigation into Russian collusion continues to loom over the White House, Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic yesterday reveal that Donald Trump Jr. communicated with WikiLeaks on a number of occasions, starting in September 2016 and spanning until at least July.

About two months before Election Day, the Wiki-Leaks Twitter account initiated contact, informing the Trump son via direct message that an anti-Trump PAC was about to launch a website called putintrump.org.

“The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC,” the WikiLeaks handle wrote. “We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comment?”

“Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around. Thanks,” Trump Jr. responded about 12 hours later.

And it appears Trump Jr. made good on that promise.

A source familiar with the congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election told The Atlantic that Trump Jr. contacted a number of senior Trump campaign officials hours after receiving those messages, telling them that WikiLeaks had made contact. The officials included Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Pascale and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who in turn forwarded the information to communications staffer Hope Hicks.

WikiLeaks also made more brazen requests, such as asking Trump Jr. to coax his father into telling Australia to appoint WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, ambassador to the United States. The anti-secrecy site also tried to persuade Trump Jr. to share his father’s tax returns.

Trump Jr. at no point rebuffed WikiLeaks’ attempts at contact, even though the U.S. intelligence community had already concluded that the organization had published stolen documents and operated on behalf of Russian interests.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Assange pushed back against The Atlantic report over Twitter.

“I cannot confirm the alleged DM’s from DonaldJTrumpJR to WikiLeaks,” he tweeted. “WikiLeaks does not keep such records and the Atlantic’s presentation is edited and clearly does not have the full context.”



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