Donald Trump Jr tweeted out a series of messages he had with the WikiLeaks.
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
Trump Jr revealed what he said was the ‘entire’ chain of Twitter direct messages with WikiLeaks between September 2016 and July this year.
Following one message in which Don Jr and WikiLeaks discussed the release of documents hacked from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, then-presidential candidate Trump tweeted about the leak.
Trump Jr’s lawyer has suggested that his client’s conversations with WikiLeaks had been sent to The Atlantic by a member of Congress who had access to the messages by way of the Russia probe.
A source familiar with the congressional investigations on Russia said Trump Jr emailed a number of senior campaign officials, including Jared Kushner, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon and Digital Director Brad Parscale, to inform them Wikileaks had made contact in September 2016.
In the first message given to the Atlantic, dated September 20, 2016, Wikileaks tried giving the Trump son a heads up about an anti-Trump political action committee that was launching.
‘A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,’ Wikileaks wrote. ‘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?’
The site, started by tech entrepreneur Rob Glaser, exists today as a reporting project in conjunction with liberal website Mother Jones and explores the Trump-Russia connection.
Then, Trump Jr didn’t know much about it, as he informed the Wikileaks’ Twitter handle through his first known direct message to the controversial group.
‘Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,’ the Trump son wrote, adding ‘thanks’ to his message.
Donald Trump Jr’s conversations with Wikileaks would continue for the next several weeks, with him sometimes responding and other times, seemingly, taking the group’s advice.
On October 3, 2016, Trump Jr was a step ahead of Wikileaks.
The group wrote to Trump, ‘Hiya, it’d be great if you guys could comment on/push this story,’ Wikileaks wrote, pointing out that Hillary Clinton had said she wanted to ‘just drone’ Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange.
‘Already did that earlier today,’ Trump Jr replied. ‘It’s amazing what she can get away with,’ he added.
Two minutes later, he wanted more.
‘What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?’ Trump Jr asked, though was ignored.
The Atlantic figured out that the day before Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone, who held no official role for the campaign, wrote, ‘Wednesday @HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.’
Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump had proclaimed to a Pennsylvania crowd, ‘I love Wikileaks’ on October 10, after the organization had published some of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s stolen emails.
Two days later, WikiLeaks responded to Trump Jr’s Twitter message.
‘Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications,’ Wikileaks wrote back instead, messaging back Donald Trump Jr on October 12. ‘Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us.’
The message included a link to the Podesta emails leak.
Trump Jr did not respond to the message, but 15 minutes later, then-presidential candidate Trump tweeted: ‘Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!’
Wikileaks also suggested that Donald Trump Jr tweet out a link that would allow his father’s followers to dig through the trove of stolen Clinton documents.
‘There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your [followers] will find it,’ Wikileaks said. ‘Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.’
Two days later, Trump Jr tweeted the link to the Podesta emails, writing: ‘For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here: http://wlsearch.tk/.’
After this, Donald Trump Jr stopped responding to Wikileaks messages.
The group wanted him, on October 21, to leak one of his father’s tax returns in order to make it look like Wikileaks was an impartial operator.
Wikileaks argued that its site would be a better arbiter to release them than a more liberal news publication like the New York Times or MSNBC.
The New York Times had previously released part of Trump’s returns.
‘The same for any other negative stuff (documents, recordings) that you think has a decent chance of coming out,’ Wikileaks continued. ‘Let us put it out.’
Trump Jr didn’t do anything with the offer.
Wikileaks had an idea for how the Trumps could play election day too.
‘Hi Don if your father ‘loses’ we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT [concede] and spends time CHALLENGING the media and other types of rigging that occurred—as he has implied that he might do,’ Wikileaks wrote on election night, hours before the final results would come in. ‘The discussion can be transformative as it exposes media corruption, primary corruption, PAC corruption, etc.’
Trump Jr didn’t bite on that suggestion as well – because he didn’t need to.
With his father elected, Wikileaks later just wrote back, ‘Wow.’
In December 16, 2016, several weeks into the presidential transition, Wikileaks tried again, asking Trump Jr for a favor.
‘Hi Don. Hope you’re doing well! In relation to Mr. Assange: Obama/Clinton placed pressure on Sweden, UK and Australia (his home country) to illicitly go after Mr. Assange,’ Wikileaks wrote. ‘It would be real easy and helpful for your dad to suggest that Australia appoint Assange ambassador to [Washington,] D.C..’
President-elect Trump, Wikileaks thought, could say something to the affect of, ‘That’s a real smart tough guy and the most famous australian [sic] you have!’
‘They won’t do it but it will send the right signals to Australia, UK + Sweden to start following the law and stop bending it to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons,’ Wikileaks said.
Trump Jr didn’t answer the group’s request.
The Atlantic found that through the winter and spring Wikileaks didn’t have much contact with the eldest Trump son, who forgoed going to Washington like his sister Ivanka, to instead take the reins of the Trump businesses in New York.
But on July 11, 2017, three days after the New York Times broke the story about a Trump Tower meeting Donald Trump Jr had a year before with a Russian lawyer, who was promised to have dirt on Hillary Clinton, Wikileaks contacted the Trump son and had a thought.
‘Hi Don. Sorry to hear about your problems,’ Wikileaks wrote. ‘We have an idea that may help a little. We are VERY interested in confidentially obtaining and publishing a copy of the email(s) cited in the New York Times today.’
The emails contained a promise from music publicist Rob Goldstone, who was setting up the meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, that there was Russian dirt on Clinton.
‘We think this is strongly in your interest,’ Wikileaks advised Trump Jr of leaking his emails on the site, as it would prevent journalists from casting the meeting in a negative light. ‘Us publishing not only deprives them of this ability but is beautifully confounding.’
Again, Trump Jr didn’t respond, though later published the emails himself using Twitter.
Several hours later, Assange took credit for the idea.