Julian Assange is challenging a report by CBS News that details an email reportedly received by Donald Trump Jr. that offered access to hacked information provided through Wikileaks during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
According to CBS and CNN, the email was received by Trump Jr. along with others in the Trump campaign (including a rarely used email for Donald Trump himself) and contained a website url and a decryption key on Sept. 14, 2016. (The email was first reported to have been sent on Sept. 4 but both news organizations corrected the date.)
But Assange said the reports were false. On Twitter, he challenged the Redstone family, who are majority owners in CBS, to a $100,000 bet on whether or not the claims are true.
CBS received news of the email from a source who also received the email, while CNN received information on the email from congressional investigators.
Investigators are trying to figure out whether Wikileaks had additional contact with Trump Jr. as the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election continues.
Trump Jr.’s lawyer said the email was among the deluge of emails received by the campaign, and it wasn’t taken seriously.
“The email was never read or responded to — and the House Intelligence Committee knows this,” Alan S. Futerfas said, according to the Washington Post. “It is profoundly disappointing that members of the House Intelligence Committee would deliberately leak a document, with the misleading suggestion that the information was not public when they know that there is not a scintilla of evidence that Mr. Trump Jr. read or responded to the email.”
The email came a month before Wikileaks published the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, but two months after the leak of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails. It also came a day after the leak of records from former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
It’s unclear whether the information in the email refers to new data or previously released data.
But the Washington Post obtained a copy of the email and said it referred to “archive of files from the DNC.”
“It’s not clear what this has to do with @WikiLeaks. Many enthusiastic readers emailed around archives of our publications during the election,” Assange wrote on Twitter.
“CNN+CBS story about @WikiLeaks today turns out to be 100% fake news,” he wrote, linking to the story.