WikiLeaks tried to have Julian Assange installed as the Australian ambassador to the US after Donald Trump’s election, a new leak of private correspondence from inside the Trump circle has revealed.
On Tuesday the Atlantic magazine reported Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son, was in contact with WikiLeaks via Twitter direct messages during the final stages of the 2016 election. Copies of the correspondence were handed to congressional investigators by Trump Jr’s lawyers and then obtained by the Atlantic.
Trump Jr subsequently tweeted a transcript of what he said was the entire exchange.
It reveals WikiLeaks and Trump Jr sought information from each another and details a string of increasingly bold suggestions made by WikiLeaks to Trump Jr, including asking for the president-elect to tell Australia to appoint Assange ambassador to the US.
On 16 December, a month after Trump’s election, WikiLeaks asked Trump Jr to have his father “suggest” Australia appoint Assange to the post in Washington, DC.
“Hi Don. Hope you’re doing well!” WikiLeaks wrote to Trump Jr. “In relation to Mr. Assange: Obama/Clinton placed pressure on Sweden, UK and Australia (his home country) to illicitly go after Mr. Assange. It would be real easy and helpful for your dad to suggest that Australia appoint Assange ambassador to DC.”
WikiLeaks went as far as suggesting wording for Trump: “‘That’s ‘a real smart tough guy and the most famous australian [sic] you have!’ or something similar,” WikiLeaks wrote.
“They won’t do it but it will send the right signals to Australia, UK + Sweden to start following the law and stop bending it to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons.”
WikiLeaks also encouraged Trump Jr to leak his father’s tax returns to prevent them being published by a “biased source” such as the New York Times. “If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” WikiLeaks explained.