Donald Trump Jr.’s private exchanges with WikiLeaks on Twitter during the 2016 campaign raise a host of new questions about the Trump team’s communications with foreign entities before the election. But the messages alone don’t appear to cross any clear-cut legal lines. “I certainly didn’t see anything that looks like a smoking gun in the descriptions that we were given,” Rick Hasen, a University of California, Irvine, law professor who specializes in election law, told me. My colleague Julia Ioffe reported Monday that Trump Jr. exchanged multiple private messages on Twitter with the radical transparency organization before the election. In some cases, Trump Jr. appeared to act on requests from the group. In one instance, for example, he tweeted a link it had sent his way. A message posted by his father’s account soon after the group contacted Trump Jr. also mentioned WikiLeaks. The messaging, which WikiLeaks initiated during the election and continued as recently as July, was not previously known to the public.
Just before the stroke of midnight on September 20, 2016, at the height of last year’s presidential election, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a private direct message to Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee’s oldest son and campaign surrogate. “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,” WikiLeaks wrote. “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?” (The site, which has since become a joint project with Mother Jones, was founded by Rob Glaser, a tech entrepreneur, and was funded by Progress for USA Political Action Committee.) The next morning, about 12 hours later, Trump Jr. responded to WikiLeaks. “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” he wrote on September 21, 2016. “Thanks.”
WikiLeaks is helping to cast doubt on the conclusion of intelligence agencies that the Russian government was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee, in what appears to be the latest disinformation campaign orchestrated by Moscow. The site leaked a trove of purported CIA hacking tools this week and zeroed in on what it called the agency’s effort to “misdirect attribution” of cyber attacks to other nations, including Russia. Fake accounts on Twitter seized on the claim to dispute that Russia sought to interfere in the U.S. election last year, noted Ryan Kalember, senior vice president for cybersecurity strategy at Proofpoint. He described the WikiLeaks release as playing into a larger “disinformation campaign” aimed at undermining the intelligence community’s attribution of cyber attacks, particularly those to Russia.
Ecuador: Presidential election could have big consequences for the fate of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange | Business Insider
There is less than a month to go before the second round of Ecuador’s presidential election, the outcome of which could end Julian Assange’s nearly five-year stay in the country’s London embassy. The April 2 runoff election pits Lenin Moreno, successor to current left-wing President Rafael Correa, against Guillermo Lasso, the right-wing opposition candidate. The Correa government has hosted Assange in a converted-office apartment in the embassy since June 19, 2012, when he fled bail and requested asylum in Ecuador to avoid extradition to Sweden, which has called for his return in relation to sexual-misconduct allegations.
Ecuador has confirmed that it has temporarily cut off internet access in its embassy in London to Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, over fears that he was using it to interfere in the US presidential election. The move followed the publication of leaked emails by WikiLeaks, including some from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) released just before the party’s convention in July, and more recently a cache of emails from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign adviser John Podesta. On Tuesday, officials released a statement saying that the government of Ecuador“respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and had cut off the internet access available to Assange because “in recent weeks, WikiLeaks has published a wealth of documents, impacting on the US election campaign”. The statement also reaffirmed the asylum granted to Assange and reiterated its intention “to safeguard his life and physical integrity until he reaches a safe place”.