But it is clear that Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks right before the Podesta hack and that he took that information right up the food chain, to Bannon, Conway, and Kushner, if not to Trump himself.
This is not the first time that Trump Jr. has been in the spotlight, and has had his actions brought into question amid the larger probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election. However, Trump tweeted a glowing review of the group, 15 minutes after WikiLeaks sent the message to Trump Jr.: "Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks".
"Hiya, it'd be great if you guys could comment on/push this story", WikiLeaks wrote to Trump Jr. on October 3, 2016.
And, yeah, they make WikiLeaks seem pretty desperate.
After the Atlantic report was released, Trump Jr.'s camp put out a statement saying it had "no concerns" about the leaked documents. The Wikileaks account sent Trump Jr. a direct message hours before results were finalized, imploring him to urge his dad to push back on the final tally.
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"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 in a January 7, 2017 report. While running, Donald Trump promised to release his tax records on numerous occasions, though he, of course, never did. "Any comments?" WikiLeaks wrote, the Atlantic reported. Trump jnr responded that he "already did that earlier today".
In June 2016, Trump Jr. accepted a now-highly scrutinized meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, after he allegedly was promised "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. It is "putintrump.' See "About" for who is behind it. It's unbelievable what she can get away with", Trump Jr. reportedly replied. "So dishonest! Rigged system!" "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 messages, which were first reported by The Atlantic, began in September 2016 with WikiLeaks messaging Trump Jr. on Twitter to apprise him of an anti-Trump site called putintrump.org that was about to launch.
If Mr. Trump were to lose, WikiLeads said on November 9, 2016, "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". Like his son, he cited the leaked Clinton emails often.
Asking that President Trump request WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be appointed Australian ambassador to the U.S. Trump Jr. did not respond.