sliding into the DMs
The WikiLeaks Twitter account repeatedly messaged Donald Trump Jr. with political advice, The Atlantic reported Monday. Trump Jr. did not always respond to WikiLeaks' overtures, but The Atlantic reports that he did email senior officials in the Trump campaign, including Stephen Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and Jared Kushner, in September 2016 to announce that WikiLeaks had contacted him.
On Oct. 3, 2016, for example, WikiLeaks messaged Trump Jr. about a quote from his father's then-rival for president, Hillary Clinton. "Hiya it'd be great if you guys could comment on/push this story," WikiLeaks wrote, attaching a screenshot of a leaked document where Clinton jokingly suggested droning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Trump Jr. replied, per messages obtained by The Atlantic: "Already did that earlier today. It's amazing what she can get away with."
The messaging was mostly one-sided, and Trump Jr. stopped replying to WikiLeaks' messages in October 2016. But that didn't stop the organization from reaching out; weeks before the election, WikiLeaks suggested that the Trump campaign send them now-President Trump's tax returns in order to "improve the perception of our impartiality." On election day, hours before Trump became the clear winner, WikiLeaks suggested to Trump Jr. that his father refuse to concede the election and instead challenge the media and "other types of rigging that occurred."
WikiLeaks declined to comment on the messages. An attorney for Trump Jr. said in a statement: "We can say with confidence that we have no concerns about these documents and any questions about them have been easily answered in the appropriate forum." As recently as July, WikiLeaks reached out to the first son, offering to publish his email exchange with Rob Goldstone, the publicist who set up his heavily scrutinized meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Read the full story on the correspondence between Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks at The Atlantic.