Wash Post Reporter: 'Somebody Who Used to Work at the White House' Is the Whistleblower

By Susan Jones | September 19, 2019 | 6:52am EDT
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - A Washington Post report provides new fodder for determined anti-Trump investigators.

The newspaper reported Tuesday that a "whistleblower complaint" so far withheld from Congress involves President Trump’s communications, reportedly a phone call, with a foreign leader.

"Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a 'promise' that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community," the Washington Post said, quoting "two former U.S. officials speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly."

It's not clear what foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he may have "promised."

But liberal media outlets, including the Post, have seized on the report to raise "new questions about the presidents handling of sensitive information," as the Post put it. One CNN analyst called Trump a “security risk” on Thursday.

And who is this whistleblower?

Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, who contributed to the Post's headline story, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Tuesday night:

Somebody who used to work at the White House and now has returned to their intelligence agency has complained to the inspector general this is such a serious and flagrant abuse that they want it on record, they want it noted, and the inspector general has also made it clear that this is something the Gang of Eight [congressional leaders] would normally be briefed about under the statute. So it's serious. It's not a small thing. The sources are also saying and stressing that this is some sort of promise that the president made.

Meanwhile, White House sources are saying to me that we have to keep in mind the president is the ultimate sort of declassifier in the government, and if the president decided that he wanted to share something sensitive or provide something sensitive or promise something sensitive, that he has full authority under the law to do that. The public may not love what he promised, if these sources are correct. But he does have the authority under the law to do that, if that's what's happened.

Today (Thursday), Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who called the whistleblower complaint a matter of "urgent concern," will appear before the House intelligence committee to brief members in closed session at 9:00 a.m.

The committee chair is Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a dedicated Trump foe and the person who first raised public concern that the whistle-blower complaint had been bottled up by Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Schiff announced on Wednesday that Maguire has now agreed to testify in open session before the committee next Thursday, Sept. 26, at 9 a.m.

"The IC IG determined that this complaint is both credible and urgent, and that it should be transmitted to Congress under the clear letter of the law," Schiff announced. "The Committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress.”

According to the Washington Post, the complaint was filed with Atkinson's office on August 12. "White House records indicate that Trump had had conversations or interactions with at least five foreign leaders in the preceding five weeks," the newspaper said.


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