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Donald Trump Jr exchanged messages with Wikileaks during election campaign
15 November 2017, 12:49 | Terri Saunders
Donald Trump Jr. worked on his father's 2016 campaign
After Donald Trump Jr.'s previously unknown communications with WikiLeaks were uncovered by The Atlantic on Monday, the president's eldest son attempted to head off the news by releasing the messages in full.
"All sides in this campaign, the Clinton side, the Trump side, were monitoring WikiLeaks to see what they would publish next", Futerfas said. The messages were first obtained by The Atlantic, but were shared online by Trump Jr.
In July 2016, the organization released thousands of emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee by a cyberhack that US intelligence officials concluded was orchestrated by the Russian government. 'Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us.' The message included a link to search documents that had been hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Trump Jr. did not respond to most of the messages from WikiLeaks, but the contact has only added to the scrutiny surrounding the Trump campaign and possible ties to Russian Federation. He also asked the site about a rumor about an upcoming leak. Trump Jr. did not answer.
In response to the leaking of the messages on Monday, Mr Trump Jr released the "entire chain" of messages "with my whopping three responses".
October 12, 2016 in Ocala, FL: "This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable", Trump said.
Alan Futerfas, Trump jnr's lawyer, said his client's exchanges with WikiLeaks were innocuous.
According to The Atlantic, Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks continued to exchange messages until July 2017 - possibly even later. Donald Jr. replied, "Already did that earlier today", adding that it's "amazing" what Clinton "can get away with". "It's fantastic what she can get away with".
Mr Assange also said the messages were part of the group's promotional efforts.
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Two days later, Trump Jr. tweeted the link to his followers, 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/". Trump Jr. tweeted that link two days later, on October 14, 2016, The Atlantic noted.
Early June 2016: Donald Trump Jr. exchanges emails with Rob Goldstone, a publicist representing a Moscow-based family who had partnered with the Trump Organization on the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russian Federation.
They show the organisation made a series of requests: from asking for comments and suggesting President Trump retweet a link, to suggesting Mr Trump should not concede if he lost the election. "It would be real easy and helpful for your dad to suggest that Australia appoint Assange ambassador to DC".
And it appears Trump Jr. made good on that promise. Then-candidate Trump and then-Sen.
Vice President Mike Pence responded quickly to the revelations, issuing a statement through his press secretary that he knew nothing about the situation. "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.
The younger Trump never previously admitted to such communications.
Still, the DMs do reveal that Trump Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks during the fall of 2016, just before the group's controversial Podesta email postings began. 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". They made a lot of requests, asking Trump Jr.to have his dad promote certain articles, asking that Julian Assange be made Australia's ambassador to the US, and even encouraging Trump to refuse to concede if he lost the election.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the panel should subpoena the documents and force Trump Jr.to publicly testify.
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