Assange contacted Donald Trump Jr. urging him to publish emails

Julian Assange: ‘I’d argue that even the completely innocent need @WikiLeaks.’ Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, said he contacted Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday morning to urge him to publish emails about orchestrating a meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton on the site, according to The Examiner.

“Contacted Trump Jr this morning on why he should publish his emails (i.e. with us). Two hours later, does it himself,” Assange said on his Twitter account.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump Jr. published an email exchange he had with Rob Goldstone, a British publicist, that showed the pair corresponding about a meeting with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, last year, The Examiner reported.

Goldstone told Trump Jr. the lawyer had damaging information about Hillary Clinton, which was part of the Russian government’s efforts to help the Trump campaign, it added.

Trump Jr., former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner ultimately met with Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in June 2016, but Trump Jr. said the meeting didn’t yield any information about Clinton, said The Examiner.

The emails between Trump Jr. and Goldstone marked a turning point in the investigations into Russian meddling in the election, as Democrats argued the correspondence showed that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russian officials, The Examiner added.

According to The Examiner, members of the intelligence community believe the Russian government orchestrated the hacks into the Democratic National Committee and other entities. Emails from DNC officials were then provided to WikiLeaks, which published the trove of documents.

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