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President Trump arrives for a press conference in New York, Sept. 25. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The intelligence community inspector general issued a statement Monday refuting false claims by President Trump and his allies about the whistleblower whose complaint on Trump's interactions with Ukraine triggered a formal impeachment inquiry.

Why it matters: It's rare for the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community to issue such a statement. But it did so after the president and loyalist lawmakers made false claims while attacking the whistleblower's credibility over the complaint concerning Trump urging Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his family.

Context: Trump incorrectly stated that rules for whistleblowers had recently changed to not require firsthand information.

  • The claims seem to have been based on a since debunked report by the conservative site The Federalist about the whistleblower complaint form being revised.
  • The president and his loyal defenders on Capitol Hill also claimed incorrectly that the whistleblower lacked firsthand knowledge of the information in the report. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) accused the whistleblower of using "hearsay."

Key takeaways: The inspector general makes clear that these claims are inaccurate and that by law the complainant "need not possess first-hand information in order to file a complaint or information with respect to an urgent concern."

  • The inspector general also notes that the whistleblower "stated on the form that he or she possessed both first-hand and other information" and that they had "direct knowledge of certain alleged conduct."

What they're saying: The whistleblower's lawyer Mark Zaid issued a statement welcoming the inspector general's statement.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden set to inherit Trump's TikTok conundrum

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump has one day left in the White House. TikTok has a lot longer left in the app stores, despite still being owned by China's ByteDance.

Why it matters: Trump's failure to force divestiture or eviction was more than just a blunder, or source of schadenfreude for the TikTok users who bedeviled his reelection campaign's event planners. It was part of a "talk loudly and carry a small stick" economic policy toward China that Joe Biden will inherit.

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.