WASHINGTON: Donald Trump Jr. had multiple online conversations during the 2016 presidential campaign with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that last year released a hacked trove of Democrats' emails, according to four congressional officials.
Trump, the president's son, in recent weeks handed over Twitter messages he exchanged with WikiLeaks to several congressional committees investigating Russia's attempts to disrupt the election, according to the officials.
In September, Trump acknowledged in a closed-door interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had corresponded with the group during the campaign, the officials said.
The correspondence, which began weeks before the Nov. 8, 2016, election and continued through much of this year, is the second time it has been publicly revealed that
Trump communicated with people and organizations with ties to the Russian
government who were trying to undermine the presidential campaign of
In July, The New York Times reported that Trump met with Russians in June 2016 who said they had damaging information on Clinton, and that the information was part of the Russian government's support for Trump.
Trump on Monday night released several screen shots of his messages with WikiLeaks. His lawyer, Alan S Futerfas, said the documents were "selectively leaked" among the thousands that have been turned over to congressional investigators.
By publishing thousands of hacked emails, American intelligence agencies believe WikiLeaks was acting as a conduit for Russian operatives.
"Hiya, it'd be great if you guys could comment on/push this story," WikiLeaks said in a message to Trump on Oct. 3, 2016, that included a quote from. Clinton in which she said she wanted to "just drone" Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder.
"Already did that earlier today (Tuesday)," Trump said in response. "It's amazing what she can get away with."
"There's many great stories the press are missing and we're sure some of your follows will find it," WikiLeaks said, adding that the group had just released more emails stolen from Clinton's campaign chairman, John D. Podesta.
Trump did not respond. Fifteen minutes later, however, his father tweeted: "Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!"