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New York - Trump Jr. Messaged WikiLeaks During Campaign

Published on: November 13, 2017 08:32 PM
Last updated on: November 13, 2017 11:37 PM
By: AP
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This image of Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter account shows a series of direct messages he received from the Twitter account behind the WikiLeaks website, including his responses to the communications, which he posted on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.  (Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter account via AP)This image of Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter account shows a series of direct messages he received from the Twitter account behind the WikiLeaks website, including his responses to the communications, which he posted on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.  (Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter account via AP)

New York - 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 around 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.

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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. And they add a new element to the investigations that have been probing for months whether 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 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 had 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 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!”

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, Trump Jr.‘s lawyer said thousands of documents had been turned over to the committees.

“Putting aside the question as to why or by whom such documents, provided to Congress under promises of confidentiality, have been selectively leaked, 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,” said Alan Futerfas.

Futerfas didn’t say which forum he was referring to, but Trump Jr. was interviewed behind closed doors by Senate Judiciary Committee staff in September. A person familiar with that meeting said the private Twitter messages were discussed. The person declined to be identified because the transcript of that interview hasn’t been made public.

In one message dated Oct. 3, 2016, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent 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.”

Trump Jr. replied: “Already did that earlier today. It’s amazing what she can get away with.”

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

Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone had 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 Podesta’s stolen emails. After the emails were released, WikiLeaks sent Trump Jr. a searchable link of the emails. Trump Jr. tweeted that link two days later, on Oct. 14, 2016, The Atlantic noted.

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

In July, the Twitter account messaged Trump Jr. to ask him to give the site emails surrounding a meeting he and other Trump associates held with Russians during the campaign. Trump Jr. then released them himself.

Vice President Mike Pence responded quickly to the revelations, issuing a statement through his press secretary that he knew nothing about the situation.

“The vice president was never aware of anyone associated with the campaign being in contact with WikiLeaks,” said spokeswoman Alyssa Farah. “He first learned of this news from a published report earlier tonight.”

Assange tweeted after The Atlantic report that he couldn’t confirm the messages but then defended them after Trump Jr. released them.

“WikiLeaks appears to beguile some people into transparency by convincing them that it is in their interest,” Assange tweeted.

Democrats swiftly reacted to the report, saying Trump Jr. should provide more information. California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, says it “demonstrates once again a willingness by the highest levels of the Trump campaign to accept foreign assistance.”

Schiff also pointed to Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked for Trump’s campaign and reached out to WikiLeaks before the election about obtaining emails related to Clinton, according to the company’s CEO.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that panel should subpoena the documents and force Trump Jr. to publicly testify.

“There seems to be no reasonable explanation for these messages,” Blumenthal said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley had said he would call Trump Jr. to publicly testify after the private interview in September. But negotiations over witnesses broke down last month amid disagreements with Democrats on the panel.

The House and Senate intelligence committees are also expecting to interview Trump Jr., but those interviews are expected to be behind closed doors.



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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 13, 2017 at 08:42 PM Educated Archy Says:

We know Trump colluded but don't care

2

 Nov 13, 2017 at 09:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Interesting. No smoking gun. No collusion. But this will headline in CNN and the rest of the fake news networks, while there are Democrat politicians all around the country being arrested or accused of pedophilia (which doesn't occur among Democrats, the ones above morals). I don't resist these stories, but they don't add up to anything. Meanwhile, every well founded accusation against Crooked Hillary will be heard in interviews, only for the interviewee to change the subject. Now they have another subject to change to. But these low lifes will not answer anything to the charges against them. These moral degenerates need to be voted out of office. Obama, Hillary, Kerry, Pelosi, and the rest of you Dem liberals - are you listening?

3

 Nov 13, 2017 at 10:01 PM hashomer Says:

There have been over 30 confirmed contacts between Russian operatives and members of the Trumpf campaign, trying to disrupt and defeat (Collude against) the Hillary Clinton campaign. If its all so nothing, then why are they all LYING about it, including Toxic Trumpf, Pence, Junior, etc.

4

 Nov 14, 2017 at 08:29 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
hashomer Says:

There have been over 30 confirmed contacts between Russian operatives and members of the Trumpf campaign, trying to disrupt and defeat (Collude against) the Hillary Clinton campaign. If its all so nothing, then why are they all LYING about it, including Toxic Trumpf, Pence, Junior, etc.

Sorry, but your facts are inaccurate. The communications have not involved collusion. None of the indictments even suggest that. Those indictments are about other crimes that can be prosecuted under the special prosecutor rules. The hope is that someone will sing and give over information to get to a top person. So far, the only ones claiming are the MSM. Review the facts, and return here to share.

5

 Nov 14, 2017 at 08:41 AM Just Wondering.... Says:

Russian Dossier anyone?? Investigation into Clinton, Holder & Obama about to begin .

6

 Nov 14, 2017 at 09:04 AM waitandsee Says:

Reply to #3  
hashomer Says:

There have been over 30 confirmed contacts between Russian operatives and members of the Trumpf campaign, trying to disrupt and defeat (Collude against) the Hillary Clinton campaign. If its all so nothing, then why are they all LYING about it, including Toxic Trumpf, Pence, Junior, etc.

and for some reason nobody was picked up for russia collusion, trump jr gave this to the committee like 2 months ago and he wasn't charge with nothing some idiot congressman or women decide to leak it to the stupid press
drain the swamp!!!!!!!! just drain it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
looks like you don't know what collusion means

7

 Nov 14, 2017 at 09:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
hashomer Says:

There have been over 30 confirmed contacts between Russian operatives and members of the Trumpf campaign, trying to disrupt and defeat (Collude against) the Hillary Clinton campaign. If its all so nothing, then why are they all LYING about it, including Toxic Trumpf, Pence, Junior, etc.

Exactly. Not only but uneducated Archy doesn't even care. Do we need any more evidence that behaimo is nothing but a Putin shill??

8

 Nov 14, 2017 at 10:30 AM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

We know Trump colluded but don't care

You don’t care...everyone who counts does.

9

 Nov 14, 2017 at 12:10 PM Just Wondering.... Says:

Were any laws broken? If so please cite them as I am still waiting for this smoke screen by CNN to end.

10

 Nov 14, 2017 at 01:25 PM JaredKusherIzSorosPartner Says:

Reply to #9  
Just Wondering.... Says:

Were any laws broken? If so please cite them as I am still waiting for this smoke screen by CNN to end.

SF86 form. Which says false statement punishable by imprisonment. Jared Kushner lied on his form. He lied more than 100 time.

Lying to Congress is a felony. Jefferson Sesions has lied many times including his confirmation hearings.

Trump Campaign officials are in a conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

TRump is obstructing justice. Google the not-liberal Brookings report (Oct 10 '17) about the Case of Donald J. TRump.

This is YUGE. Believe me!

11

 Nov 14, 2017 at 01:31 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #8  
yonasonw Says:

You don’t care...everyone who counts does.

The only ones who care are the sore losers who won't concede that the democratic process elected our president.

The rest of us know that "collusion" or as the elites label it "opposition research" was the name of the game. It takes one to know one, and take two to tango. Trump played Hillary's game. If you'd like moving forward we can enact a law that bans opposition research. However, this was the name of the game.

Oh and I agree that it doesn't look good morally to say we contacted Russia for opposition research. Henceforth that addresses Hashomer's concerns as to why ist better off denying contacts with the ruskies or covering it over. However, in reality this was the game.

12

 Nov 14, 2017 at 03:01 PM hashomer Says:

Reply to #9  
Just Wondering.... Says:

Were any laws broken? If so please cite them as I am still waiting for this smoke screen by CNN to end.

Trumpf Junior took hacked and stolen private E-Mails and gave them to Trumpf campaign from Russian operative wikileaks. Russia ia a hostile foreign power which attempted to interfere in our election. Laws were certainly broken. When your new Fuhrer pardons all his swampf, will you agree laws were broken? Keep wondering, traitor.

13

 Nov 14, 2017 at 04:43 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #10  
JaredKusherIzSorosPartner Says:

SF86 form. Which says false statement punishable by imprisonment. Jared Kushner lied on his form. He lied more than 100 time.

Lying to Congress is a felony. Jefferson Sesions has lied many times including his confirmation hearings.

Trump Campaign officials are in a conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

TRump is obstructing justice. Google the not-liberal Brookings report (Oct 10 '17) about the Case of Donald J. TRump.

This is YUGE. Believe me!

Not at all YUGE. And stop lying about any Kushner soros connection.

If it was so clear that Kushner lied on his form then why didn't they prosecute him? Obviously there are items which are allowed to be left out and one is not required to recall every time he went to the bathroom on his form.

Sessions never lied to congress.

Its unanimously clear that Trump never violated computer fraud.. Trump never hacked Hillary's emails. At the time of the hack Trump was too bust with Little Marco and lyin ted . He never dreamed he'd make it to the top and never thought about Hillary. And Trump was too small at that time to use resources to hack others. Noone and I repeat noone have even accused the man of violating nay computer fraud. They do accuse him of colluding to release already hacked information but not for the hack.

Obstruction of a fake justice? OK if you say so

Basically your entire post including your user name is all fake and lies.

14

 Nov 14, 2017 at 04:45 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #12  
hashomer Says:

Trumpf Junior took hacked and stolen private E-Mails and gave them to Trumpf campaign from Russian operative wikileaks. Russia ia a hostile foreign power which attempted to interfere in our election. Laws were certainly broken. When your new Fuhrer pardons all his swampf, will you agree laws were broken? Keep wondering, traitor.

Russia is not considered an enemy since we are not at state of war. As bad as it sounds there is no crime in doing what the man did. It was only "opposition research".

15

 Nov 14, 2017 at 05:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Educated Archy Says:

Russia is not considered an enemy since we are not at state of war. As bad as it sounds there is no crime in doing what the man did. It was only "opposition research".

Russia has been using hybrid and cyberwarfare against the US since your midget dictator in the Kremlin came to power. This former KGB thug still can't get over the breakup of the USSR and is doing anything and everything short of nuclear to destroy the US. But just like the USSR tried and failed so will you and your midget tyrant.

16

 Nov 14, 2017 at 09:03 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

Russia has been using hybrid and cyberwarfare against the US since your midget dictator in the Kremlin came to power. This former KGB thug still can't get over the breakup of the USSR and is doing anything and everything short of nuclear to destroy the US. But just like the USSR tried and failed so will you and your midget tyrant.

I agree that Russia has been committing cyber warfare. But I disagree that the man is trying to destroy the USA. That;s your own hyper understanding of him. Russia is simply trying further itself by gaining key knowledge of certain USA stuff. i don't think Putin cares if the USA is strong providing Russia is strong too. He does not want to "destroy" the USA. he simply wants to strengthen Russia. And I say OK so let Russia be strong. And lets build an alliance with them.

17

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