In a new article from The Atlantic, we learn that Donald Trump Jr. was receiving and responding to emails from Wikileaks starting September 20, 2016, as the presidential election was in high gear. The correspondence appears to have continued through July 2017. As America reels from the news that Trump has taken the word of Putin over his own intelligence community, we learn that Trump Jr. was willingly interacting with an organization that US intelligence believes the Russians chose to distribute information it had illegally hacked, including its hack of the Democratic National Committee.
WikiLeaks has been hacked. Call it karma.
Makes you wonder all the things we'd learn if anyone ever hacked Wikileaks and posted all of its emails to a searchable site https://t.co/AvmGB8mqD1
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 13, 2017
Trump Jr.’s active participation with Wikileaks was known to Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Kushner forwarded a Wikileaks email to Hope Hicks, current White House Communications Director.
From The Atlantic:
“At no point during the 10-month correspondence does Trump, Jr. rebuff WikiLeaks, which had published stolen documents and was already observed to be releasing information that benefited Russian interests.”
Trump Jr. was shown to have sought information from Wikileaks regarding Roger Stone’s Tweet predicting that “Hillary Clinton is done” with hashtag #Wikileaks.
See the Tweet from The Daily Beast’s National Editor below:
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) November 13, 2017
Kenneth Vogel of The New York Times noted that the interactions shown in the Atlantic article prove that Wikileaks was not impartial in the election and definitely wanted Trump to win.
.@wikileaks said it didn't favor Trump over Clinton. The DMs it sent to @DonaldJTrumpJr suggest otherwise: “if your father ‘loses’ we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT conceed," & instead alleges election was rigged. https://t.co/WHa2ph8akA
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) November 13, 2017
One of the most telling observations from this news is that Trump Jr. not only communicated with Wikileaks with complete knowledge by top Trump officials but that he followed Wikileak’s suggestion in sharing information about Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, that had been hacked by Russia.
As Mother Jone’s Washington bureau chief noted, this is more evidence of direct collusion.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) November 13, 2017
The communications with Don Jr. also seem to have been known by Trump Sr., as noted by The Atlantic’s bureau chief, Yoni Appelbaum. A tweet from Donald Trump happened just minutes after an interaction with Trump Jr. and Wikileaks.
That’s a great catch. A total of 15 minutes elapsed between the WikiLeaks request and the president’s tweet. We’ve updated: https://t.co/DsVUafvIjf
— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) November 13, 2017
Another revealing bit of information is that Wikileaks tried to get some of Donald Trump’s tax returns through Don Jr., hoping it would lend the appearance of impartiality if Wikileaks shared them.
Not only did Wikileaks want the tax returns, but there was another strange quid pro quo requested: Wikileaks tried to get Trump Jr. to make Julian Assange Australia’s ambassador to the United States.