Irish Examiner - - Front Page - Mary Clare Jalonick

Don­ald Trump Jr has re­leased a se­ries of pri­vate Twit­ter ex­changes be­tween him­self and Wik­iLeaks dur­ing and af­ter the 2016 elec­tion.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s old­est son re­leased a se­ries of pri­vate Twit­ter ex­changes be­tween him­self 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 first re­ported them. In the ex­changes, some of them around the time the web­site was re­leas­ing the stolen emails from Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign chair­man, Wik­iLeaks 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 re­leased last 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 Ms Clin­ton’s cam­paign chair­man, John Podesta.

The pri­vate 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 2016 and ran through July.

Mr Trump Jr down­played the ex­changes as he re­leased them. “Here is the en­tire chain of mes­sages with @wik­ileaks (with my whop­ping 3 re­sponses) which one of the con­gres­sional com­mit­tees has cho­sen to se­lec­tively leak,” he tweeted. “How ironic!”

Mr Trump Jr’s lawyers had re­leased the ex­changes to three con­gres­sional com­mit­tees that have been in­ves­ti­gat­ing Rus­sian in­ter­ven­tion in the 2016 elec­tion and whether there were any links to Trump’s cam­paign.

In a state­ment, Mr Trump Jr’s lawyer said thou­sands of doc­u­ments had been turned over to the com­mit­tees.

In one mes­sage dated Oc­to­ber 3, 2016, the Wik­iLeaks Twit­ter ac­count sent Mr Trump Jr an ar­ti­cle that in­cluded crit­i­cal com­ments 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.”

Two min­utes later, Mr Trump Jr sent an­other mes­sage: “What’s be­hind this Wed­nes­day leak I keep read­ing about?”

Long­time Trump as­so­ciate Roger Stone tweeted the day be­fore that on Wed­nes­day, “Hil­lary Clin­ton is done,” ref­er­enc­ing Wik­iLeaks.

The Wik­iLeaks Twit­ter ac­count never re­sponded, but days later Wik­iLeaks started rolling out Mr Podesta’s stolen emails. After­wards, Wik­iLeaks sent Mr Trump Jr a search­able link of the emails. Mr Trump Jr tweeted that link two days later, on Oc­to­ber 14, 2016, The At­lantic noted.

The rest of the mes­sages are one-sided, with Wik­iLeaks send­ing Mr Trump Jr mes­sages through July 2017. They in­clude praise for his fa­ther for men­tion­ing them on the cam­paign trail, a plea to re­lease Mr Trump’s taxes to the site and ad­vice on elec­tion day that Mr Trump should not con­cede if he lost. One mes­sage sug­gested Mr Trump en­cour­age Aus­tralia to ap­point Mr As­sange as US am­bas­sador.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.