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Donald Trump Jr. was privately communicating with WikiLeaks during the election

Republican president-elect Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. embrace after delivering his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City.
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Republican president-elect Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. embrace after delivering his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City.

President Donald Trump's oldest son on Monday released a series of previously private messages he received from WikiLeaks and his responses.

Donald Trump Jr.'s release of the messages on Twitter comes after The Atlantic first reported them.

In the exchanges, WikiLeaks asks Trump Jr. to push its leaks and to release his father's tax returns to the site.

The documents released by Trump Jr. show him responding three times, at one point agreeing to "ask around" about a political action committee that WikiLeaks had mentioned. He also asked the site about a rumor about an upcoming leak.

The messages released by Trump Jr. began in September 2016 and run through July.

WikiLeaks released stolen e-mail messages from top Democrats during the campaign.

Democrats swiftly reacted to the Atlantic's report, saying Trump Jr. should provide more information. Democratic congressman Adam Schiff said the report "demonstrates once again a willingness by the highest levels of the Trump campaign to accept foreign assistance."

Vice President Mike Pence's spokeswoman said he was unaware of Trump Jr.'s contacts with WikiLeaks when he issued a denial that the Trump campaign was in cahoots with the hacking group.

Pence's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said the vice president "was never aware of anyone associated with the campaign being in contact with WikiLeaks. He first learned of this news from a published report earlier tonight."

Pence was asked about the campaign's coordination with WikiLeaks in October 2016. He said, "Nothing could be further from the truth."

—CNBC contributed to this report.