Trump urged to push for As­sange as en­voy

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - World - WED­NES­DAY NOVEM­BER 15 2017 DAI­LYTELE­GRAPH.COM.AU

Wik­iLeaks con­tacted Don­ald Trump’s camp af­ter he won the US pres­i­dency to ask the bil­lion­aire to sug­gest Ju­lian As­sange be ap­pointed as the Aus­tralian am­bas­sador to the United States.

The in­cred­i­ble re­quest was part of a se­ries of pri­vate ex­changes be­tween Wik­iLeaks and Mr Trump’s son Don­ald Trump Jnr and dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and be­fore the in­au­gu­ra­tion.

The mes­sages form part of a con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in last year’s US elec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to The At­lantic, af­ter months of ex­changes, the Wik­iLeaks Twit­ter ac­count sent an­other mis­sive to Mr Trump Jr on De­cem­ber 16, when his fa­ther was Pres­i­den­t­elect.

“Hi Don. Hope you’re do­ing well!” the mes­sage read.

“In re­la­tion to Mr As­sange: Obama/Clin­ton placed pres­sure on Swe­den, UK and Aus­tralia (his home coun­try) to il­lic­itly go af­ter Mr As­sange. It would be real easy and help­ful for your dad to sug­gest that Aus­tralia ap­point As­sange am­bas­sador to (Wash­ing­ton,) DC.”

Wik­iLeaks even sug­gested how Mr Trump might ap­proach the mat­ter.

“That’s a real smart tough guy and the most fa­mous aus­tralian (sic) you have!’ or some­thing sim­i­lar,” Wik­iLeaks wrote.

“They won’t do it but it will send the right sig­nals to Aus­tralia, UK + Swe­den to start fol­low­ing the law and stop bend­ing it to in­gra­ti­ate them­selves with the Clin­tons.”

Wik­ileaks did not re­spond to The At­lantic for com­ment.

Mr As­sange (pic­tured) re­sponded on Twit­ter, say­ing he could not con­firm the mes­sages from Wik­iLeaks to Mr Trump Jr but not­ing that “Wik­iLeaks can be very ef­fec­tive at con­vinc­ing even high­pro­file peo­ple”.

Mr Trump Jnr also took to Twit­ter to re­spond to the story, not­ing that he re­sponded just three times to re­peated mes­sages from Wik­iLeaks. He com­pletely ig­nored the As­sange re­quest. Among other mes­sages, Wik­iLeaks also sug­gested that if Mr Trump lost the elec­tion his camp should not ac­knowl­edge the re­sult. Mr As­sange founded Wik­ileaks in 2006. The or­gan­i­sa­tion has been ac­cused of help­ing Rus­sia dis­sem­i­nate hacked in­for­ma­tion and data dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Mr As­sange was granted asy­lum by Ecuador in 2012 and has been holed up in its London em­bassy since to avoid an ar­rest war­rant.

Ira­ni­ans mourn over the body of a vic­tim in Sar­pol-e Za­hab. Pic­ture: AFP

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