A bombshell report from the Atlantic this evening shows just how deep the communication between Donald Trump Jr and Wikileaks actually was. Not only were they in communication during the election, but they actually were still direct messaging each other through July of 2017.
Julia Ioffe is reporting that on September 20, 2016, Wikileaks twitter account sent a message to Donald Trump, Jr. saying the following:
“A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch. The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?”
The next day, Jr. responded:
“Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around. Thanks.”
Trump Jr.’s lawyers provided all the messages to congressional investigators. These messages were obtained by the Atlantic. The exchanges continued through July 2017, but were largely one sided, with Wikileaks initiating most of the contact. Not that this helps Jr - he did respond to many of them and also forwarded information via email to many Trump campaign members, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner reportedly forwarded emails to Hope Hicks.
Some more back and forth exchanges:
October 3, 2016, WikiLeaks wrote:
“Hiya, it’d be great if you guys could comment on/push this story.”
They were talking about a story saying that Hillary Clinton wanted to “just drone” WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.
Don Jr responded a half hour later:
“Already did that earlier today. It’s amazing what she can get away with.”
Just TWO minutes later Don Jr wrote:
“What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?”
WikiLeaks didn’t respond.
October 12, 2016, Wikileaks messaged:
“Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us. There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your follows [sic] will find it. Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.”
The link referenced a tool to help people sift through the emails, and just 15 minutes later, Donald Trump the candidate tweeted it out.
Don Jr. didn't respond immediately, but on October 14th he tweeted out the link WikiLeaks had sent him with the following message:
“For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here: http://wlsearch.tk/."
Wikileaks continued to reach out. On October 21, 2016 they messaged:
“Hey Don. We have an unusual idea. Leak us one or more of your father’s tax returns...If we publish them it will dramatically improve 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. The same for any other negative stuff (documents, recordings) that you think has a decent chance of coming out. Let us put it out.”
LET US PUT IT OUT. Kind of seems like collusion, right?
Don Jr. did not respond.
Wikileaks wrote again on election day:
“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. The discussion can be transformative as it exposes media corruption, primary corruption, PAC corruption, etc."
After it was clear that Trump was going to win (cough steal the election cough) Wikileaks wrote:
No response from Don Jr.
Wikileaks, like the girlfriend you really liked at first, but decided to dump, was not going away quietly. They messaged:
“Hi Don. Hope you’re doing well! In relation to Mr. Assange: Obama/Clinton placed pressure on Sweden, UK and Australia (his home country) to illicitly go after Mr. Assange. It would be real easy and helpful for your dad to suggest that Australia appoint Assange ambassador to [Washington,] DC."
It appears that Don Jr stayed quiet.
Wikileaks reached out again on July 11, 2017, right after the story of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting broke:
“Hi Don. Sorry to hear about your problems. We have an idea that may help a little. We are VERY interested in confidentially obtaining and publishing a copy of the email(s) cited in the New York Times today. We think this is strongly in your interest. Us publishing not only deprives them of this ability but is beautifully confounding.”
Don Jr didn't respond again, but he did take their advice about publishing the emails. This time, he did it himself. On his own Twitter timeline. Probably without consulting his lawyer(s).
Twitter was on fire about this bombshell report:
Is this year long communication with Wikileaks, the very organization that released hacked emails, enough to connect the dots from mere rumors of collusion to actual collusion and more importantly, conspiracy? You better believe Mueller is looking into it.
A reminder that Mike Pence vehemently denied any connection between anyone in the campaign and Wikileaks on October 14th during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Pence said when asked by Fox News anchor Steve Doocy if Donald Trump’s campaign is “in cahoots” with the website releasing the emails. “I think all of us have, you know, have had concerns about WikiLeaks over the years and it's just a reality of American life today, and of life in the wider world.”