Wik­iLeaks wooed Trump team

The West Australian - - WORLD -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s old­est son has re­leased pri­vate Twit­ter ex­changes be­tween him and Wik­iLeaks dur­ing and af­ter the 2016 elec­tion, in­clud­ing pleas from the web­site to pub­li­cise its leaks.

Don­ald Trump Jr’s re­lease of the mes­sages on Twit­ter came hours af­ter The At­lantic mag­a­zine re­ported them.

In the ex­changes — some of them around the time the web­site was re­leas­ing the stolen emails from Demo­crat Hil­lary Clinton’s cam­paign chair­man — Wik­iLeaks praises his fa­ther’s pos­i­tive com­ments about Wik­iLeaks and asks Mr Trump Jr to re­lease his fa­ther’s tax re­turns to the site.

The rev­e­la­tions are sure to in­crease calls in Congress to have Mr Trump Jr tes­tify pub­licly as part of sev­eral com­mit­tee probes into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion. And they add a new el­e­ment to the in­ves­ti­ga­tions that have been prob­ing for months whether Mr Trump’s cam­paign col­luded in any way with the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment.

In an in­tel­li­gence as­sess­ment in Jan­uary, the NSA, CIA and FBI con­cluded that Rus­sian mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence pro­vided hacked in­for­ma­tion from the DNC and “se­nior Demo­cratic of­fi­cials” to Wik­iLeaks.

Wik­iLeaks has de­nied that Rus­sia was the source of emails it re­leased, in­clud­ing those from Mrs Clinton’s cam­paign chair­man, John Podesta.

The mes­sages re­leased by Mr Trump Jr show him re­spond­ing to the Wik­iLeaks ac­count three times, at one point agree­ing to “ask around” about a po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee Wik­iLeaks had men­tioned.

He also asked the site about a ru­mour about an up­com­ing leak. The mes­sages be­gan in Septem­ber last year and ran through July.

Mr Trump Jr played down the ex­changes as he re­leased them.

“Here is the en­tire chain of mes­sages with (at) wik­ileaks (with my whop­ping 3 re­sponses) which one of the con­gres­sional com­mit­tees has cho­sen to se­lec­tively leak,” he tweeted. “How ironic!”

In one mes­sage dated Oc­to­ber 3, the Wik­iLeaks Twit­ter ac­count sent Mr Trump Jr an ar­ti­cle that in­cluded crit­i­cal com­ments Mrs Clinton had made about Wik­iLeaks ed­i­tor Ju­lian As­sange and said “it’d be great if you guys could com­ment on/push this story”.

Mr Trump Jr replied: “Al­ready did that ear­lier to­day.

“It’s amaz­ing what she can get away with.”

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