Sep 27, 2019

Congressional Republicans take aim at whistleblower complaint

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Republicans are already treating the whistleblower's complaint the way they did the Mueller report: several Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Reps. Andy Biggs, Matt Gaetz, and Dan Crenshaw called the whistleblower’s credibility into question.

The tactics, per the AP's Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller: "Attempt to discredit government officials at the heart of the story. Dispatch Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other allies to muddy the picture. Lean on Republicans in Congress to provide cover."

  • Reality check: The problem with that is that both the words and the music of the whistleblower's complaint are in tune with the White House's own memo on the phone call.

🚨 The whistleblower is a male CIA officer, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • N.Y. Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet — after criticism from "[m]any readers, including some who work in national security and intelligence" — is quoted in "Why The Times Published Details of the Whistle-Blower’s Identity":
"We decided to publish limited information about the whistle-blower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible."

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N.Y. Times defends decision to publish whistleblower ID details

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The New York Times defended its decision to publish a story identifying the whistleblower as a male CIA officer, as executive editor Dean Baquet said it reported "limited information" about his identity so readers could "make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible."

The big picture: Federal whistleblowers are protected by law. Readers and some in the national intelligence community expressed concern that revealing too much detail in media reports could put the officer's life and reputation in danger and deter future whistleblowers.

Go deeperArrowSep 27, 2019

Trump wants to interview whistleblower despite federal protections

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that he wants to interview and "learn everything about" the Ukraine whistleblower, despite protections guaranteed under federal law.

"So if the so-called 'Whistleblower' has all second hand information, and almost everything he has said about my 'perfect' call with the Ukrainian President is wrong (much to the embarrassment of Pelosi & Schiff), why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him.
Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

Trump alleges without evidence whistleblower worked with "partisan operative"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Friday that the "so-called Whistleblower isn't a Whistleblower at all," alleging without evidence that the whistleblower obtained their "second-hand information" from a "leaker" or "partisan operative."

"Sounding more and more like the so-called Whistleblower isn't a Whistleblower at all. In addition, all second hand information that proved to be so inaccurate that there may not have even been somebody else, a leaker or spy, feeding it to him or her? A partisan operative?"
— President Trump on Twitter
Go deeperArrowSep 27, 2019