For nearly a year, WikiLeaks was DMing with Donald Trump Jr.

Enlarge[1] / Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, gestures from the balcony of Ecuador’s embassy in London.Jack Taylor/Getty Images[2]As part of its investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Congress received a cache of Twitter direct messages between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks–at least some of those messages have now been leaked to The Atlantic[3].

When Ars asked Twitter whether some users’ DMs had been turned over to Congressional investigators or the Office of Special Counsel, which is also investigating possible Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, Emily Horne, a Twitter spokeswoman, declined comment. In July 2016, WikiLeaks published[4] 20,000 internal e-mails from the Democratic National Committee, a hack that likely originated[5] from Russia. “We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence wrote[6] in a January 7, 2017 report. “Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.

Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.” Starting in September 2016, for the better part of a year, WikiLeaks “made a series of increasingly bold requests, including asking for Trump’s tax returns, urging the Trump campaign on Election Day to reject the results of the election as rigged, and requesting that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint Julian Assange ambassador to the United States.”

As part of its Monday story, The Atlantic did not publish the full cache of messages. Instead, the magazine selectively quoted from them.

Citing an anonymous source, The Atlantic also reported that the same day that Trump Jr. received his first message from WikiLeaks–September 20, 2016–he e-mailed numerous other Trump campaign officials to say that the organization had contacted him.

The Atlantic wrote: “At no point during the 10-month correspondence does Trump Jr. rebuff WikiLeaks, which had published stolen documents and was already observed[7] to be releasing information that benefited Russian interests.”

On Election Day, November 8, 2016, WikiLeaks wrote: “Hi Don if your father ‘loses’ we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT conceed [sic] and spends time CHALLENGING the media and other types of rigging that occurred–as he has implied that he might do.”

Neither WikiLeaks nor Trump Jr.’s attorney, Alan Futerfas[8], immediately responded to Ars’ request for comment.

References

  1. ^ Enlarge (cdn.arstechnica.net)
  2. ^ Jack Taylor/Getty Images (www.gettyimages.com)
  3. ^ The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com)
  4. ^ published (arstechnica.com)
  5. ^ originated (arstechnica.com)
  6. ^ wrote (www.documentcloud.org)
  7. ^ already observed (www.nytimes.com)
  8. ^ Alan Futerfas (www.futerfaslaw.com)

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