Oct 4, 2019

GOP Sen. Joni Ernst joins Chuck Grassley in defending whistleblower

Sen. Joni Ernst. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

GOP Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) joined her colleague Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Thursday in defending the whistleblower behind the Ukraine complaint that's led to a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, according to NBC News.

The big picture: Grassley shielded the whistleblower earlier this week after repeated attacks from Trump, stating, "We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality." Ernst echoed the sentiment, saying, "Whistleblowers should be protected."

  • Trump says he believes "a whistleblower should be protected if the whistleblower's legitimate," but that he does not believe this one is.
  • Ernst previously said she didn't see any problem with the conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, telling the Washington Post last week: "I've looked at the transcript; I don't see anything there."

Between the lines: Both Ernst and Grassley are from Iowa, where Morning Consult shows Trump's favorability at -14. Ernst is also up for reelection next year.

Go deeper: Trump's trifecta

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Sen. Joni Ernst's name.

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Trump misrepresents whistleblower complaint in misleading tweet

President Trump tweeted Wednesday that the Ukraine whistleblower claimed his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance" — a claim disproven by the whistleblower's complaint.

"The so-called Whistleblower, before knowing I was going to release the exact Transcript, stated that my call with the Ukrainian President was 'crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance related to national security.' This is a very big Lie. Read the Transcript!"
Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

Trump: "We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity"

Photo by Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump on Monday said in a pair of tweets Monday the whistleblower who filed the complaint that set off the House impeachment inquiry must "testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong" and that they must be identified "to determine WHY this was done to the USA."

Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify. NO! Must testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong, not even close. Did Schiff tell him to do that? We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA.
Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

Democratic challengers outpace vulnerable GOP senators in Q3 fundraising

Photo: Omar Chatriwala/Getty Images

A series of new polling and fundraising numbers show an uphill battle for several of 2020's most vulnerable Republican Senate seats, the National Journal reports.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's hold on the chamber has been an impenetrable barrier when it comes to blocking Democratic legislation passed in the House, with McConnell proudly referring to himself this year as the "Grim Reaper" for progressive policies. Even if a Democrat defeats President Trump in 2020, the party still needs to flip at least three Republican Senate seats in order to pass any significant legislation like the Green New Deal or Medicare for All.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019