Assange confirms Trump campaigners contacted WikiLeaks over Clinton emails

London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has confirmed that a data analytics company that worked for US President Donald Trumps election campaign had contacted him over Hillary Clinton’s private emails while she was secretary of state, media reports said.

“I can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica (prior to November last year]) and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks,” the Guardian quoted Assange’s tweet on Wednesday night.

He did not elaborate on the content of the request.

Assange’s statement followed a report in the Daily Beast that Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix made contact with the WikiLeaks founder about the possible release of 33,000 of Clinton’s missing emails.

The Daily Beast report said: “Nix, who heads Cambridge Analytica, told a third party that he reached out to Assange about his firm somehow helping the WikiLeaks founder release Clinton’s missing emails, according to two sources familiar with a Congressional investigation into interactions between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

“Those sources also relayed that, according to Nix’s email, Assange told the Cambridge Analytica CEO that he didn’t want his help, and preferred to do the work on his own. If the claims Nix made in that email are true, this would be the closest known connection between Trump’s campaign and Assange,” it added.

CNN, citing two unnamed sources, said Nix wrote to several people including Trump mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, explaining that he had emailed Assange seeking access to the Clinton emails to turn them into a searchable database for the campaign or a pro-Trump political action committee.

Cambridge Analytica was hired in the summer of 2016 as part of the Trump campaign’s three-pronged data operation, which was led by Brad Parscale and overseen by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

No one from the Trump campaign was copied on the email, the sources told CNN.

The 33,000 emails deleted from Clinton’s private server have never materialised.

In July 2016, Trump called on Russia to find the emails.

WikiLeaks had published emails hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta just hours after the release of a potentially campaign-ending Access Hollywood tape in which Trump could be heard boasting about groping women, reports the Guardian.

Assange has denied receiving help from Russian hackers.