Posted October 24, 2020 11:00:00In the days leading up to the inauguration, the US president has used the email protocol in a number of ways, from releasing a tweet to posting on his own Twitter account.
But the first major shakeup in the system was when Donald Trump Jr emailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about a purported meeting he had with an opposition leader, according to The Washington Post.
The meeting was arranged by the Russian government, the Post reported.
The revelation was first reported by WikiLeaks, but Assange and the group deny any involvement.
Trump’s team initially claimed the meeting was an attempt to gain damaging information on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, and that Trump Jr did not have a role in the exchange.
However, the meeting, conducted by Rob Goldstone, a music publicist, and Donald Trump, Jr, the president’s eldest son, was soon overshadowed by the scandal surrounding the son’s emails, which revealed that he had repeatedly exchanged messages with WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, with the subject line: “Russian government lawyer” in which he allegedly promised damaging information about the Clinton campaign.
Trump Jr said he did not know the content of the emails.
The president has since used his own emails to release statements about his conversations with Assange.
In one, he said the former Democratic presidential nominee’s emails were “highly irregular” and that he believed WikiLeaks was “a front for Russian government”.
In another, he accused the group of being “an arm of the Russian Government”.
Assange told the Guardian he believed Trump Jr had been trying to “get me to give a bunch of stuff that I didn’t have to give”.
He also denied any knowledge of the content.
Trump has repeatedly said the emails were not part of the campaign.
“These are not emails that were obtained from a campaign,” he said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in November.
“They’re emails that I received as a private citizen.
They’re not emails I sent to anyone or that I sent or received through a campaign.
I’ve never been asked for anything in exchange for anything.”
Trump has continued to dismiss the emails as part of a “Russian hoax” as the investigation continues.
“The Russians are trying to find any excuse to try and destroy me,” he told ABC’s This Week in November, “so they can say I’m not a smart guy.
I’m a bad guy.”
He later told Sean Hannity he was not “really surprised” by the emails, adding: “I think that they’re a front for Russia.
They want to try to destroy me and get me to do something bad for them.
And I can do a lot of bad things.”