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1ST LEAD Donald Trump Jr corresponded with WikiLeaks during 2016 campaign By dpa correspondents

Europe
14.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Washington (dpa) - US President Donald Trump‘s son, Donald Trump Jr, exchanged a series of messages with WikiLeaks during his father‘s presidential campaign, according to messages the younger Trump posted Monday 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," Trump Jr posted, following a report by the Atlantic magazine. "How ironic!"

The Atlantic had reported earlier Monday that WikiLeaks, which published a series of leaked emails from Democrat Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 campaign, sent repeated messages to Trump Jr urging him to promote their publications and to provide them with documents.

The tweets Trump Jr sent Monday evening appeared to contain screenshots of messages with the @wikileaks account, including requests from WikiLeaks for comments on stories and for the younger Trump to release his father‘s tax returns.

"Hey Don. We have an unusual idea," one of the @wikileaks messages said. "Leak us one or more of your father‘s tax returns."

Messages that followed from the @wikileaks account outlined the "benefits" of leaking the returns, both for the campaign and for WikiLeaks.

The requests also encouraged the elder Trump to contest the election if he should lose and later requested that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as US ambassador.

Trump Jr largely seems to have ignored the messages sent to him on Twitter by WikiLeaks, but he also appears to have responded to or followed up on some of the requests.

The exchange continued at least until July, when reports surfaced that the president‘s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer because he was interested in damaging information about Clinton.

After Trump Jr posted the correspondence Monday, the @wikileaks Twitter account appeared to confirm the messages.

"Donald Trump Jr. publishes missing context to alleged Twitter correspondence with @WikiLeaks," the account said as it retweeted Trump Jr‘s post.

Earlier, Assange had tweeted: "I cannot confirm the alleged DM‘s [direct messages] from @DonaldJTrumpJr to @WikiLeaks. @WikiLeaks does not keep such records and the Atlantic‘s presentation is edited and clearly does not have the full context."

Assange continued, however, saying the WikiLeaks messages published by the Atlantic showed that the anti-secrecy website "allegedly tried to convince Trump Jr to leak his father‘s tax returns & his own ‘Russian lawyer meeting‘ emails (he did)."

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

The direct Twitter messages between Trump Jr and WikiLeaks reportedly have been turned over to Congress as part of an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

 

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