So the big news of Monday night was that Donald Trump Jr. was communicating with representatives from WikiLeaks leading up to election night last year. Thanks to a story from The Atlantic, the entire liberal media went into a frenzy of reporting at the news that Don Jr. was “secretly,” “covertly,” “suspiciously” trading messages with the outlaw site while WikiLeaks was, of course, busy publishing emails from the DNC and John Podesta.
The Atlantic discovered that an unidentified WikiLeaks staffer first communicated with Don Jr. on September 20, 2016 with the message: “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch. The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?
After presumably checking out the site, which was started by tech CEO Rob Glaser and funded by Progress for USA, Don Jr. wrote, “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around. Thanks.”
Wow, bombshell stuff, huh?
Indeed, the Atlantic notes that in very few cases did Donald Trump Jr. even respond to WikiLeaks’ messages to him. The site asked for his father’s tax returns, asked for Julian Assange to be appointed the Australian ambassador to the U.S., and asked that Trump Sr. post a link to the site’s trove of hacked emails. In none of these cases did the younger Trump respond, although Candidate Trump did post praise of WikiLeaks shortly after that last message.
And again, so what?
At the absolute worst, this is bad news for WikiLeaks, because it proves that they are not the non-partisan outfit that some still believed them to be. They clearly had a vested interest in the outcome of the 2016 election. But that shouldn’t come as much of a shock to those who carefully followed the email saga last year, should it? Assange and the rest of the WikiLeaks crowd were only too happy to spotlight and tweet particularly-damaging emails at the most politically-opportune moments. That they were secretly carrying on with the Republican candidate’s son during the last months of the campaign is perhaps a bit unsettling for anyone who still thought WikiLeaks was “above it all,” but it’s really not that big of a deal.
As far as Trump or his son are concerned, this is a complete non-story. If anything, it would appear from Don Jr.’s rather careful correspondence with WikiLeaks that we are looking at the full extent of the campaign’s supposed “collaboration” with Assange. Trump appears hesitant to reply to anything in detail, perhaps fearing that the campaign will be the next target of the site’s leaking fury. There is no mention of Russia, certainly, and Trump Jr. does not, in at least one instance, appear to have any information – inside or not – about the contents of unpublished emails.
These exchanges are hardly noteworthy at all, except for the fact that they appear to actually exonerate Don Jr. and the Trump campaign from allegations of collusion.