CNN reports that on September 4, 2017, a month before Wikileaks released hacked emails that devastated Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, Donald Trump Jr. was contacted with an offer for a decryption key and web address for the hacked material.
The email appears to be from a legitimate source with access to Colin Powell’s hacked emails. Those emails were made public less than two weeks later.
Trump Jr. said that he does not recall ever receiving that email. However, in a strange bit of what is surely pure coincidence, Trump Jr. also tweeted for the first time about Wikileaks on that very same day.
At 3:04 PM, Trump Jr. tweeted this:
WIKILEAKS: Hillary Clinton Sent THOUSANDS of Classified Cables Marked “(C)” for Confidential https://t.co/RzMaW1uN0x via gatewaypundit
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 4, 2016
Again, that must surely be coincidence. In case he deletes the tweet or it becomes otherwise unavailable, it reads:
“WIKILEAKS: Hillary Clinton sent THOUSANDS of Classified Cables Marked “(C)” for Confidential.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Julian Routh first noticed the odd timing of Trump Jr.’s tweet:
The first time Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about WikiLeaks?
The same day (Sept. 4) the Trump team received email offering a decryption key for hacked Wikileaks docs. pic.twitter.com/f0k1HPCwGT
— Julian Routh (@julianrouth) December 8, 2017
Trump Jr. later went on to release several email and direct messages he exchanged with the whistleblowing organization. Until that point, the Trump campaign had rarely made mention of Wikileaks.
According to Think Progress, then-candidate Donald Trump mentioned Wikileaks 164 times over the final month of the campaign.
Even though he seemingly hates “leaks” in every form now, Trump absolutely loved them during the campaign against Clinton. Here’s what he told Bill O’Reilly in a October 11, 2016 interview:
“The press is hardly even talking about Wikileaks. You know that – Wikileaks is amazing. The stuff that’s coming out, it shows [Clinton is] a real liar. She said, well, you have to say to the public and you have to say to your donors different things, okay? The press doesn’t even pick this stuff up.”
Trump Jr. seems like he may be the next focus of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s ties with Trump’s team and the effect it may have had on our election. I’m sure Mueller will believe the date of Trump Jr.’s first ever tweet about Wikileaks was only a coincidence.
Watch Donald Trump Jr. try to defend and apologize for some of his decisions during the campaign in an interview with Sean Hannity from July 2017.
UPDATE [3:12 PST]: The Washington Post has since reported that the email originally sent to Donald Trump Jr. was actually sent on September 14, not September 4. CNN has corrected the error in the original article. We apologize for the misinformation.