Trump Jr. bares Wik­iLeaks mes­sages

Se­cretly met with group that pub­lished Hil­lary e-mails: re­port

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s son re­leased Mon­day a series of mes­sages he had with Wik­iLeaks af­ter a re­port sug­gested he had se­cretly li­aised with the group that pub­lished Hil­lary Clinton’s e-mails dur­ing last year’s elec­tion.

Trump, Jr re­vealed what he said was the “en­tire” chain of Twit­ter di­rect mes­sages with Wik­iLeaks be­tween Septem­ber 2016 and July this year, in which the anti-se­crecy group sought to feed in­for­ma­tion to the Trump cam­paign and en­hance the im­pact of its Clinton re­leases.

Trump Jr’s re­lease, also done on Twit­ter, shows about a dozen mes­sages from Wik­iLeaks to him, and what he called “my whop­ping 3 re­sponses.”

Wik­iLeaks is shown in­form­ing Trump Jr of a new anti-Trump web­site, urg­ing his fa­ther to tweet about Wik­iLeaks’s Clinton files and ad­vis­ing that, if he loses the elec­tion, Trump should chal­lenge the re­sult.

The group also asks Trump Jr to pro­vide his fa­ther’s tax re­turns be­cause “it will dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the per­cep­tion of out im­par­tial­ity” while boost­ing the im­pact of its Clinton ma­te­ri­als.

And in April, Wik­iLeaks sug­gested Trump Jr hand over e-mails re­gard­ing a meet­ing he had with a Rus­sian lawyer that has be­come a fo­cus of the fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween the Trump cam­paign and Rus­sia.

Trump Jr only replied to three early mes­sages, thank­ing Wik­iLeaks for the in­for­ma­tion on the new web­site, mak­ing a slight­ing com­ment about Clinton, and, on Oc­to­ber 3 last year, just be­fore Wik­iLeaks pub­lished a trove of files on Clinton, ask­ing “What’s be­hind this Wed­nes­day leak I keep read­ing about?”

Trump Jr clearly sought to down­play At­lantic mag­a­zine’s ar­ti­cle ear­lier in the day that first made the mes­sages pub­lic.

Although the ex­changes were mostly one-sided and mostly ig­nored by Trump Jr, the pres­i­dent’s son did not push back against the web­site even though it had al­ready re­leased data that ben­e­fited Rus­sian in­ter­ests.

In his own tweets, Wik­iLeaks founder Ju­lian As­sange said the group’s mes­sages were all part of its pro­mo­tional ef­forts.

“Wik­iLeaks can be very ef­fec­tive at con­vinc­ing even high-pro­file peo­ple that it is their in­ter­est to pro­mote links to its pub­li­ca­tions,” he said.

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