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By CCN: The Mueller Report is here, and while there are many frustrating redactions, there are plenty of exciting tidbits for the talking heads to chew on. Among the juiciest bits is evidence that Donald Trump Jr. did have direct contact with WikiLeaks.
This should draw attention back to comments from Donald Trump who claimed to know nothing about the shadowy whistle-blowers.
Trump Jr. Was in Direct Communication With WikiLeaks on Twitter
So what did Trump Jr. do? Well, it appears that utilized information that WikiLeaks sent to him, on one occasion publishing a link they recommended and looking into a possible anti-Trump campaign website that was set to be launched (putintrump.org). The president’s son direct-messaged the following back to WikiLeaks after receiving some the info on Twitter:
“Off the record, I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around, thanks.”
On another occasion, Trump Jr. asked:
“What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?”
There was no reply from WikiLeaks.
Given that a lot of the report focuses on hacking attempts by Russians, there will be concerns regarding a definitive link between a member of the president’s family and hackers. The fact that there are multiple occasions where Trump publicly discusses WikiLeaks discredits the earlier comments from the President even more.
Julian Assange: Trump’s Guardian Angel?
Looking broadly at all of this, it’s evident that anyone claiming there was a clear coordinated effort between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign is exaggerating the available proof.
What we have here is essentially a staffer (Trump Jr.) occasionally attempting to make use of leaks as part of highly aggressive campaign tactics. Those looking for a highly-efficient and cohesive alliance will be disappointed.
The current administration used public information that hurt Hillary Clinton whenever it could, but it does not appear from the Mueller report that Trump or his associates aggressively pursued that information or that he had any real relationship beyond a handful of messages.
Julian Assange was probably more of a guardian angel overseeing the Trump campaign and dropping bombshells when he could. So far we don’t have the evidence to prove that he was a soldier on the ground for Trump 2016.