Trump urged to push for Assange as envoy
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