Julian Assange wanted to be made Australia’s ambassador to the United States — and asked President Donald Trump’s son to make it happen, according to The Atlantic.
The website says it obtained private direct messages sent between Donald Trump Jr and the WikiLeaks Twitter account which have been turned over to congressional lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The request from the WikiLeaks Twitter account would have come after Mr Trump’s election victory in November.
The Atlantic says WikiLeaks did not respond to requests for comment.
According to the Atlantic, a December 16 message sent from WikiLeaks to Mr Trump Jr read:
“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 [Washington,] DC.”
The report says the WikiLeaks Twitter account suggested how the then president-elect could announce the move:
“‘That’s a real smart tough guy and the most famous australian [sic] you have!’ or something similar,” WikiLeaks wrote.
Mr Trump Jr did not respond to the messages, but the report does detail other instances where he interacted with the WikiLeaks Twitter account going back to September 20, 2016.
Lawyers for Mr Trump Jr said he had worked cooperatively with investigators and “any questions raised” have been “easily answered in the appropriate forum”.
Hillary Clinton told the ABC’s Four Corners last month that Mr Assange was a “tool of Russian intelligence”.
“Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator,” she said.
“WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence.”
Mr Assange responded to the allegations by tweeting there was “something wrong” with Ms Clinton.
“It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement,” he said.
“Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen.”