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Trump Jr. Releases Conversations With WikiLeaks

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Donald Trump Jr. has released private exchanges he had with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump Jr. shared the exchange over his Twitter account after The Atlantic reported on the correspondence, according to CNN. 

"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," he wrote Nov. 13. "How ironic!"

The messages show that WikiLeaks contacted Trump Jr. Sept. 20, 2016, regarding a PAC-funded, anti-Trump website. 

In a second exchange, WikiLeaks asked if Trump Jr. "could comment on/push this story," linking to an article that suggested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supported a drone strike against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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"Already did that earlier today," Trump Jr. responded, according to CNN. "It’s amazing what she can get away with."

The BBC reports that the president's oldest son then emailed senior officials in the White House, including Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, to say that WikiLeaks made contact.

Most of the correspondence was one-sided, with WikiLeaks asking then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Sr. to release his tax returns to them and advising him to challenge the 2016 election results if he lost.

The correspondences took place between Sept. 2016 and July of 2017. 

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Assange has criticized the original Atlantic piece, writing in a tweet that the messages were simply part of the organization's promotional campaign.

"Wikileaks can be very effective at convincing even high-profile people that it is their interest to promote links to its publications," he wrote.

The organization is known for publishing top-secret and classified information leaked by anonymous sources.

Trump Jr.'s lawyers have also turned over the messages to congressional investigators.

"Over the last several months, we have worked co-operatively with each of the committees and have voluntarily turned over thousands of documents in response to their requests," said Trump Jr.'s lawyer, Alan Futerfa, regarding the original leak to The Atlantic

"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." 

The current congressional inquiry is looking into allegations of Russian collusion and meddling during the 2016 presidential election, according to the BBC. U.S. intelligence officers believe that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, then provided the mined materials to WikiLeaks so they would be released to the public.

The emails showed a DNC that heavily favored Clinton in a Democratic primary race in which they were supposed to be neutral. 

Sources: CNN via WPIX, BBC (2) / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: Espen Moe/Flickr, Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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