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Trump's promise to foreign leader prompts whistleblower complaint – report Trump's promise to foreign leader prompts whistleblower complaint – report
(about 11 hours later)
Donald Trump’s promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the US intelligence community that it prompted the person to file a whistleblower complaint, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Donald Trump’s promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the US intelligence community that it prompted the person to file a whistleblower complaint a revelation late on Wednesday that is causing alarm among legal and political observers.
The Post, which cited two former officials familiar with the matter, said it was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver. The communication was a phone call, one former official said, according to the Post. Two former officials familiar with the matter said it was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, Washington Post reported. The communication was a phone call, one former official said, according to the Post.
The intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern”, a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees, the Post said.The intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern”, a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees, the Post said.
But the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has refused to share details about the complaint with lawmakers, the paper reported. Maguire has defended his refusal by asserting that the subject of the complaint is beyond his jurisdiction, it said.But the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has refused to share details about the complaint with lawmakers, the paper reported. Maguire has defended his refusal by asserting that the subject of the complaint is beyond his jurisdiction, it said.
Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House intelligence committee, has sought to compel US intelligence officials to disclose the full details of the whistleblower complaint to Congress.Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House intelligence committee, has sought to compel US intelligence officials to disclose the full details of the whistleblower complaint to Congress.
Atkinson is scheduled to appear at a closed hearing of the committee on Thursday morning and Maguire has agreed to testify before the panel in open session a week later, Schiff said in a statement.Atkinson is scheduled to appear at a closed hearing of the committee on Thursday morning and Maguire has agreed to testify before the panel in open session a week later, Schiff said in a statement.
“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. The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress,” the statement said.“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. The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress,” the statement said.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Representatives of the office of the director of national intelligence could not be reached. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Representatives of the office of the director of national intelligence could not be reached on Wednesday night.
The Harvard University law professor Laurence Tribe voiced concern on Thursday morning in a post on Twitter that the action by Trump could be a breach of national security. He also noted Trump spoke both to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in July or August, the period reportedly in question.
To be troubling enough for the IG to classify as “a matter of urgent concern,” a “promise” by POTUS to any of the foreign leaders we know Trump spoke with in July or August (including Kim and Putin) would have to be one betraying our national security. This cannot stand.
The complaint was filed with Atkinson’s office on 12 August, when a Trump was at his golf resort in New Jersey, and White House records indicate that Trump had conversations or interactions with at least five foreign leaders in the five-week period prior, the Post reports.
Jon Cooper, a former aide to Barack Obama and prominent New York Democrat, speculated on Thursday that if the vice-president, Mike Pence, was aware of what had happened and, if it was serious, had not raised the alarm, it could spell trouble for him.
What are the odds that @VP Mike Pence was aware of the “promise” Trump made to a foreign leader that was so alarming it led to an “urgent, credible” whistleblower complaint from within the intelligence community? If Pence knew but covered it up, he may be in deep trouble himself.
The California Democratic congressman Ted Lieu said on Twitter that intelligence officers must have been “freaked out” by Trump’s conduct, raised the alarm and alerted the press.
Why are we even reading this in the @washingtonpost? Because intel officers are freaked out by the conduct of @POTUS.Thanks to the free press for bringing critical information to the American people in the face of coverups & obstruction by the @realDonaldTrump Administration. https://t.co/I2baMas9ew
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