Trump Jr. Messaged With
WikiLeaks During, After Campaign
November 14, 2017
President Donald Trump's son has released a series of private
messages from WikiLeaks' Twitter account sent to him during and
after the 2016 presidential campaign.
Donald Trump Jr.'s release of the messages came hours after The
Atlantic magazine, which obtained the string of messages, first
reported them. As he released them, he appeared to downplay the
exchanges, saying on his Twitter account, "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!"
The messages appear to reach out to Trump Jr. as part of
WikiLeaks' effort to publicize itself and its beleaguered
founder, Julian Assange.
The Atlantic reports WikiLeaks tweeted Trump Jr. numerous times
between September 2016 and July this year.
Although Trump ignored most of the tweets, he did reply to
In one, he said he would "ask around" when WikiLeaks inquired
who was behind an anti-Trump website.
Another time, Trump said "it's amazing what she can get away
with" when WikiLeaks mentioned a Hillary Clinton comment about
wanting to "drone" Assange.
In the third response, Trump Jr. complained about media
"corruption and hypocrisy" when WikiLeaks appealed to him to
urge his father to Tweet praise about WikiLeaks.
Trump Jr. did not respond to other WikiLeaks tweets, including
one appealing for Trump to release his tax returns to WikiLeaks
to make the website appear to be "impartial."
Another tweet suggested Trump ask Australia to name Assange as
its ambassador to the United States. Trump Jr. also did not
reply to a tweet urging his father to challenge the presidential
election as rigged if he had lost.
Although Trump Jr. did not respond to every WikiLeaks tweet, he
never rebuffed the organization for trying to use him as someone
very close to a presidential candidate, and later president, in
order to push its agenda.
In his own tweets, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said he
couldn't confirm the messages, but later said they were part of
its promotional efforts. "WikiLeaks can be very effective at
convincing even high-profile people that it is in their interest
to promote links to its publication," he said.
Assange is currently in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where
he is trying to avoid extradition to the United States to face
charges of spying.
party lawmakers reacted to the report, calling on Trump Jr. to
provide more information. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member
of the Senate Judiciary Committee tweeted, "These messages seem
to indicate Pres. Trump's son was actively engaged and may have
coordinated strategy with a known agent of the Russian
government, WikiLeaks. We cannot know the full extent of these
communications unless and until they are subpoenaed by Chairman
All the correspondence between Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks have been
turned over to congressional investigators probing possible
collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to sway
the election in Trump's favor.
"Putting aside the question as to why or by whom such documents
produced 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 appropriate forum," said Alan
Futerfas, an attorney for Trump Jr.