Donald Trump, Jr. releases correspondence with Wikileaks

By Ray Downs  |  Nov. 13, 2017 at 8:38 PM
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Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Donald Trump, Jr. released correspondence he had with Wikileaks after reports published Monday revealed he communicated with the organization during and after the 2016 presidential election.

The Atlantic first reported the president's son communicated with Wikileaks via direct messages on Twitter between September 2016 and July 2017. Shortly after ABC News and CBS News confirmed the report, Trump, Jr. tweeted copies of the emails cited in the Atlantic story.

"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!" Trump, Jr. wrote.

The messages indicate Wikileaks contacted Trump, Jr. on Sept. 20, 2016, and informed him about putintrump.org, an anti-Trump site they said was about to launch.

"The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC," Wikileaks wrote. "We have guessed the password. It is 'putintrump.' See 'About' for who is behind it. Any comments?"

The Atlantic reported Rob Glaser, a tech entrepreneur founded the site and Progress for USA Political Action Committee funded it.

The next day, Trump, Jr. responded: "Off the record I don't know who that is, but I'll ask around. Thanks."

Wikileaks sent several other messages to Trump, Jr., but according to the Atlantic and the email he released, he replied twice more.

On Oct. 3, 2016, Wikileaks asked Trump, Jr. to push a story about Hillary Clinton suggesting the U.S. government "just drone" Julian Assange.

"Already did that earlier today," Trump Jr. wrote. "It's amazing what she can get away with."

A few minutes later, Trump, Jr. asked about a leak about Clinton that Trump political operative Roger Stone said was coming soon from Wikileaks.

Wikileaks did not respond.

After that, Trump, Jr. did not respond again to Wikileaks, but the organization wrote several times to Trump, Jr., at one point asking for copies of Trump's tax returns.

Wikileaks said there were several reasons leaking the tax returns would benefit the Trump campaign, including improving "the perception of our impartiality."

"That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won't be perceived as coming from a 'pro-Trump' 'pro-Russia' source," Wikileaks wrote, adding that Trump, Jr. should also send "any other negative stuff (documents, recordings) that you think has a decent chance of coming out. Let us put it out."

On Twitter, Assange said he could not confirm the correspondence and said The Atlantic story was "edited and clearly does not have the full context," but he praised his organization's "chutzpah" for attempting to convince Trump, Jr. to release Trump's tax returns.

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

Alan Futerfas, Trump Jr.'s lawyer said in a statement to ABC News that his client has cooperated with the congressional committee investigations into alleged meddling into the 2016 presidential election.

"Over the last several months, we have worked cooperatively with each of the committees and have voluntarily turned over thousands of documents in response to their requests," Futerfas wrote. "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."

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