Trump Jr. messaged with WikiLeaks during ’16 campaign
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s oldest son on Monday released a series of private Twitter exchanges between himself and WikiLeaks during and after the 2016 election, including pleas from the website to publicize 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 about the time that 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 Trump Jr. to release his father’s tax returns to the site.
The revelations are sure to increase calls in Congress to have Trump Jr. testify publicly as part of several committee probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election. They also add a new element to the investigations that have been probing whether Trump’s campaign colluded 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 denied that Russia was the source of emails it released, including those from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
The private messages released by Trump Jr. show him responding to the WikiLeaks account three times, at one point agreeing to “ask around” about a political action committee WikiLeaks mentioned. He also asked the site about a rumor about an upcoming leak. The messages began in September 2016 and ran through July.
Trump Jr. downplayed the exchanges.
“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!”