WikiLeaks, which the American intelligence community believes disseminated information hacked by the Russian government, secretly corresponded with Donald Trump Jr. through Twitter’s direct messages during the 2016 campaign, The Atlantic reported on Monday.
The direct messages were turned over to Congress as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
WikiLeaks made several requests of Trump Jr., including asking Donald Trump to reject the election results as “rigged” if he lost to Hillary Clinton.
On Election Day, November 8, 2016, Wikileaks wrote to Trump Jr. at 6:35pm: “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.,” Wikileaks added.
Wikileaks also sent messages to Trump Jr. asking for Trump’s tax returns and asking that then president-elect Trump request that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be appointed Australia’s ambassador to the United States.
Trump Jr. frequently ignored many of messages, but occasionally responded to the requests.
In one case, Trump Jr. shared a link Wikileaks had provided him.
On October 12, 2016, Wikileaks messaged Trump Jr. “Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications,” Wikileaks wrote. (At a rally on October 10, Donald Trump had proclaimed, “I love Wikileaks!”)
“Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us,” Wikileaks added, pointing Trump Jr. to the link wlsearch.tk, which it said would help Trump’s followers dig through the trove of stolen documents and find stories, according to the Atlantic.
“There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your follows [sic] will find it,” Wikileaks went on. “Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.”
Two days later, on October 14, 2016, Trump Jr. tweeted the link, writing: “For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here: http://wlsearch.tk/.”