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5 times Trump praised WikiLeaks during his 2016 election campaign

5 times Trump praised WikiLeaks during his 2016 election campaign

But the group's messages with Trump Jr. show WikiLeaks calling on him to spread and publicize the hacked emails.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, in his first speech after taking that job earlier this year, characterized WikiLeaks as a "nonstate hostile intelligence service", singling out Assange as the leader of a hostile force that threatens the U.S.

In an intelligence assessment released last January, the NSA, CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded that Russian military intelligence provided hacked information from the DNC and "senior Democratic officials" to WikiLeaks.

Still, the DMs do reveal that Trump Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks during the fall of 2016, just before the group's controversial Podesta email postings began. He also has come under scrutiny for agreeing to meet a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower who he was told wanted to provide "dirt" about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Russian Government.

Alan Futerfas, Trump Jr.'s attorney, said his client's exchanges with WikiLeaks were innocuous.

"This is America. You can talk to anyone about anything", he explained, noting that it would be a legal problem if there was an agreement between Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks.

The rest of the messages are one-sided, with WikiLeaks sending Trump Jr. messages through July 2017.

He replied the next day saying: "Off the record I don't know who that is, but I'll ask around".

"If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality", the message to Trump Jr. said.

"Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications", WikiLeaks wrote.

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US intelligence agencies concluded that emails from the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta were hacked by Russian Federation before being released by WikiLeaks.

Trump Jr. downplayed the exchanges as he released them. The then-presidential candidate wrote: "Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!" Two days later, Trump jnr tweeted the link to his followers, 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/".

Assange pushed back against The Atlantic report over Twitter.

Trump Jr. did not respond to most of the messages from WikiLeaks, but the contact has only added to the scrutiny surrounding the Trump campaign and possible ties to Russian Federation. On numerous occasions throughout the campaign, one can find compelling evidence of a direct correlation between a communication from Wikileaks to Trump about an impending release of information about Clinton or others and a corresponding tweet from him, informal campaign advisers such as Roger Stone, or even the President himself teasing such information.

Tech entrepreneur Rob Glaser was unwittingly embroiled in the national political discourse this week, when a conversation between WikiLeaks and the president's son was published by The Atlantic.

Looking at his other tweets, Trump Jr. tweeted about WikiLeaks a lot during October 2016 with stories mainly about Hillary Clinton campaign leaks.

In the messages, he mostly answered contacts from WikiLeaks politely or not at all.

WikiLeaks' 2016 hacks worked in the Trump campaign's favor, and the Central Intelligence Agency determined Russian Federation was behind the documents stolen from the Clinton campaign and given to WikiLeaks.

The congressional inquiry is one of several looking into allegations of Russian collusion and meddling in the U.S. election.


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