WikiLeaks wanted Donald Trump to heap praise on Julian Assange in order to pressure Australia to “stop ingratiating itself” with Hillary Clinton, according to private Twitter messages made public by the US President’s son.
Donald Trump Jr tweeted images of private direct messages between himself and the WikiLeaks Twitter account in response to an earlier report from the The Atlantic.
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. How ironic! 1/3 pic.twitter.com/SiwTqWtykA
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 14, 2017
“Among the messages was a request for the US President to suggest that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be made Australian ambassador to the US.
According to the text of the message released by Mr Trump Jr, Wikileaks wrote:
“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.”
The WikiLeaks Twitter account then suggests how the then president-elect could announce the move:
“‘That’s a real smart tough guy and the most famous australian [sic] you have!’ or something similar,” WikiLeaks wrote.
“They won’t do it but it will send the right signals to Australia, UK + Sweden to start following the law and stop bending it to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons.”
Mr Trump Jr said he did not respond to the messages, but The Atlantic report does detail other instances where he interacted with the WikiLeaks Twitter account going back to September 20, 2016.
The website said the messages had been turned over to congressional lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Lawyers for Mr Trump Jr said he had worked cooperatively with investigators and “any questions raised” had been “easily answered in the appropriate forum”.
Mr Assange tweeted that he “cannot confirm” details of the messages, but accused The Atlantic of taking them out of context.
I cannot confirm the alleged DM's from @DonaldJTrumpJr to @WikiLeaks. @WikiLeaks does not keep such records and the Atlantic's presentation is edited and clearly does not have the full context. However, even those published by the Atlantic show that: 1/
— Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange) November 13, 2017
Hillary Clinton told the ABC’s Four Corners last month that Mr Assange was a “tool of Russian intelligence”.
“Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator,” she said.
“WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence.”
Mr Assange responded to the allegations by tweeting there was “something wrong” with Ms Clinton.
“Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen.”