A Look at Donald Trump Jr.'s Private Messages With WikiLeaks - NBC New York
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A Look at Donald Trump Jr.'s Private Messages With WikiLeaks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump Jr. Admits to Correspondence With WikiLeaks

    Donald Trump, Jr. admits corresponding with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign as the group was releasing hacked emails stolen from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017)

    Evidence that President Donald Trump's eldest son exchanged private messages on Twitter with WikiLeaks has raised new questions about the Trump campaign's communications.

    The private messages released by Donald Trump Jr. on Monday show him responding to the WikiLeaks' Twitter account three times, at one point agreeing to "ask around" about a political action committee WikiLeaks had mentioned. He also asked the site about a rumor about an upcoming leak, and tweeted a link that the account sent him.

    Questions and answers about the newly revealed messages:

    WHY IS WIKILEAKS SIGNIFICANT?
    WikiLeaks released hacked emails from top Democratic officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, including thousands stolen from the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta. In an intelligence assessment released in January, the NSA, CIA and FBI concluded that Russian military intelligence provided the hacked information from the Democratic National Committee and "senior Democratic officials" to WikiLeaks.

    Trump Denies Bombshell Russia Reports From NYT, Post

    [NATL] Trump Denies Bombshell Russia Reports From NYT, Washington Post

    President Donald Trump responded to accusations of Russian collusion in two separate bombshell reports from the New York Times and the Washington Post. Trump denied that he fired former FBI Director James Comey to advance Russian interests and a Post report that he hid conversations he had with Vladimir Putin.

    (Published Monday, Jan. 14, 2019)

    WikiLeaks has denied that Russia was the source of emails it released, including Podesta's emails.

    Trump praised the website, which bills itself as an anti-secrecy organization, during the campaign. Trump Jr. tweeted a link that the Twitter account had messaged him that made it easier to search the hacked emails.

    WHAT DID THE MESSAGES SAY?
    Trump Jr.'s release of the messages on Twitter came hours after The Atlantic first reported them Monday. The messages he released began in September 2016 and ran through July.

    In the first message, dated Oct. 3, 2016, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent Trump Jr. an article that included critical comments Clinton had made about WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange and said, "it'd be great if you guys could comment on/push this story."

    Trump Jr. replied: "Already did that earlier today. It's amazing what she can get away with."

    Two minutes later, Trump Jr. sent another message: "What's behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?"

    Judge Blocks Trump Birth Control Coverage Rules in 13 States

    [NATL-PHI] Judge Blocks Trump Birth Control Coverage Rules in Delaware, Other States

    A Trump Administration rule that would allow more employers to opt out of covering birth control from women will not take effect on Monday as scheduled. The rules would let employers claim exemption for religious or moral reasons. Delaware is one of the 13 states that sued to have the rule stopped.

    (Published Monday, Jan. 14, 2019)

    Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone had tweeted the day before that on Wednesday, "Hillary Clinton is done," referencing WikiLeaks.

    The WikiLeaks Twitter account never responded, but days later WikiLeaks started rolling out Podesta's stolen emails. After the emails were released, WikiLeaks sent Trump Jr. a searchable link of the emails. Trump Jr. tweeted that link two days later, on Oct. 14, 2016, The Atlantic noted.

    The rest of the messages are one-sided, with WikiLeaks sending Trump Jr. messages through July 2017. They include praise for his father for mentioning them on the campaign trail, a plea to release Trump's taxes to the site and advice on Election Day that Trump should not concede if he lost. One message suggested Trump encourage Australia to appoint Assange as U.S. ambassador.

    In July, the Twitter account messaged Trump Jr. asking for emails surrounding a June 2016 meeting he and other Trump associates held with Russians during the campaign. Trump Jr. then released them himself.

    WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR DONALD TRUMP JR.?
    Trump Jr. downplayed the exchanges as he released them.

    "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," he wrote on Twitter. "How ironic!"

    Trump Visits Southern Border to Make Case for a Border Wall

    [NATL] Trump Visits Southern Border to Make Case for a Border Wall

    President Donald Trump flew to Texas Thursday to tour the southern border and make the case for his proposed border wall. This comes as the federal government entered its 20th day of a partial shutdown. President Trump has refused to sign any bill that doesn’t include $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019)

    In a statement, Trump Jr.'s lawyer said thousands of documents had been turned over to committees investigating Russian intervention.

    "Putting aside the question as to why or by whom such documents, provided to Congress under promises of confidentiality, have been selectively leaked, we can say with confidence that we have no concerns about these documents and any questions raised about them have been easily answered in the appropriate forum," said Alan Futerfas.

    The messages are sure to increase calls for Trump Jr. to testify publicly. He has already been interviewed behind closed doors by the Senate Judiciary Committee — most likely the "appropriate forum" Futerfas was referring to — but Democrats have called for an open hearing.

    Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary panel, said the committee should subpoena the documents and force Trump Jr. to publicly testify.

    "There seems to be no reasonable explanation for these messages," Blumenthal said.

    California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, says it "demonstrates once again a willingness by the highest levels of the Trump campaign to accept foreign assistance."

    Federal Workers Juggling Shutdown Stress

    [NATL-DC] Federal Workers Juggling Shutdown Stress

    "I just go to the gym and juggle. Just a way to escape everything," Barry Goldmeier said. He's one of thousands of government employees furloughed during the shutdown. News4's Shomari Stone spoke to a therapist about other ways furloughed workers can cope with the stress.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019)

    Schiff also pointed to Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked for Trump's campaign and reached out to WikiLeaks before the election about obtaining emails related to Clinton, according to the company's CEO.