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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.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.