Trump Jr. corresponded with WikiLeaks privately on Twit…
President Trump’s eldest son occasionally exchanged private messages with WikiLeaks on Twitter before the 2016 election, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: ‘DC should annex’ Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia’s House of Delegates MORE Jr. confirmed on Monday.
The WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a direct message to Trump Jr. in late September 2016 alerting him that an anti-Trump site run by a political action committee (PAC) was “about to launch.” The message offered the password to the site.
“The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?” WikiLeaks wrote, as first reported by The Atlantic.
“Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” Trump Jr. responded to the account the following day. It is unclear if he followed through with the offer.
Trump Jr. later confirmed the interactions on Twitter:
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. How ironic! 1/3 pic.twitter.com/SiwTqWtykA
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 14, 2017
The correspondence has reportedly been given to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
WikiLeaks published troves of stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta ahead of the election. The U.S. intelligence community has linked the releases to a multi-pronged effort by the Russian government to interfere in the election. WikiLeaks has denied any connections to the Kremlin.
A representative for WikiLeaks did not immediately return a request for comment.
The correspondence continued until July 2017 and largely consisted of WikiLeaks sending messages to Trump Jr. that went unreturned. The organization, for instance, asked for Trump’s tax returns, which the president has refused to release to the public.
In an October message, WikiLeaks asked Trump Jr. to “push” a story in right-wing media that alleged Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election MORE joked about wanting to “drone” Julian Assange, the website’s founder. Trump Jr. reportedly responded that he “already did that earlier today.”
In another message in late October, WikiLeaks suggested that Trump Jr. “leak” the organization one of his father’s tax returns. “If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” the account said, according to The Atlantic.
“That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source,” the message from WikiLeaks said.
In another message on the day of the election, WikiLeaks suggested that Trump contest the results of the election if he didn’t win.
Trump Jr. did not respond to either solicitation.
In a statement to the Atlantic, an attorney for Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, said, “we can say with confidence that we have no concerns about these documents and any questions raised about them have been easily answered in the appropriate forum.”
Trump Jr. has already come under scrutiny from congressional investigators for his meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower last June that he took after being offered damaging information on Clinton.
This post was updated at 7:31 p.m.
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