On Monday, The Atlantic released some correspondence between WikiLeaks and Donald Trump Jr. that showed how the organization tipped off the elder Trump son about PutinTrump.org, a special coverage site from Mother Jones that documents the ties between the current president and Russia. The Atlantic’s investigation also uncovered frequent overtures from WikiLeaks, which were mostly ignored by Trump Jr., in part because not-Eric had already shared some of the articles the group asked him to promote, including one about a disparaging comment Hillary Clinton made about them. (Those were probably some of the only times Trump Jr. has ever been ahead of the game.) The frustrated scion decided to teach the journalists a lesson by, uh, sharing the same messages that were in the original report while also displaying the same shaky command of the English language as his sister.
Now Mother Jones has published its own account of what came after that little warning to Trump Jr. In September 2016. WikiLeaks tweeted the password to the preview site, which, while not granting access to the back end, still gave a bunch of people a look at the contributors and backers of the site, including tech millionaire Rob Glaser ahead of the launch. Not long after, PutinTrump.org saw a spike in traffic and blitz of spam messages. This was followed by the doxxing of several people involved with the site, who Mother Jones’ Bill Buzenberg says were also attacked on Twitter. Their email accounts were inundated with spam messages, rendering them unusable. One person involved with the site sent this plea to Mother Jones: “We are getting 100,000 spam messages to our inbox and all of our personal info is on twitter.” Another individual who was targeted said “It was the scariest times in our lives. There were messages threatening our families.”
The publication did not name any of the targeted individuals, nor did it link to the Twitter account that posted their personal info, because that information is still available on that timeline. But the user(s) did tweet to offer a reward to “whoever can find dirt,” and in a separate tweet, promised that “We will uncover them ALL!” But Mother Jones does note that it’s examined digital evidence which “indicates with near certainty that WikiLeaks communicated with Trump Jr. about the launch of PutinTrump.org just eight minutes before posting the password for its millions of followers.”