President Donald Trump on Monday said there are efforts to find out the identity of the Ukraine call whistleblower, when asked if he knows who filed the complaint now at the heart of an impeachment inquiry.
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“We’re trying to find out about a whistleblower,” Trump said, as he was walking out of the Oval Office after a swearing-in ceremony for new Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.
The president’s comments came as Andrew Bakaj, a lawyer for the whistleblower, tweeted, “The Intel Community Whistleblower is entitled to anonymity. Law and policy support this and the individual is not to be retaliated against. Doing so is a violation of federal law.”
The president also continued his attacks on House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and the whistleblower, and called Schiff’s opening statement, in which he made dramatic embellishments to the transcript a call between Trump and the President of Ukraine, “horrible” and a “disgrace.”
“The call was perfect. When the whistleblower reported it, he made it sound terrible. And then you had Adam Schiff who, even worse, made up my words. Which I think is just horrible, I have never seen a thing like that,” Trump said.
Trump said Schiff added to his transcript because “it was so good that he couldn’t quote from it because there was nothing done wrong.” But the president and White House have still not pinpointed what in the whistleblower’s complaint about the call was inaccurate.
On Monday, the president ramped up his attempts to discredit the Ukraine call whistleblower saying that the person “knew almost nothing.”
“The Fake Whistleblower complaint is not holding up,” Trump tweeted. “It is mostly about the call to the Ukrainian President which, in the name of transparency, I immediately released to Congress & the public. The Whistleblower knew almost nothing, its 2ND HAND description of the call is a fraud!”
Trump’s latest attack comes a day after he claimed on Twitter that in the complaint, the whistleblower had represented his conversation with the Ukranian president in “a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way.”
“Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called “Whistleblower,” represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way,” Trump tweeted Sunday.
Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called “Whistleblower,” represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way. Then Schiff made up what I actually said by lying to Congress……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 29, 2019
“I want to know who’s the person that gave the whistleblower, who’s the person that gave the whistleblower the information, because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said during a private event in New York. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now.”
Trump also got backlash from GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger for tweeting out a paraphrase of Pastor Robert Jeffress on “Fox and Friends” Sunday he feared that if the president is successfully removed from office that it will result in a “Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.”
“I have visited nations ravaged by civil war,” Kinzinger tweeted. “@realDonaldTrump I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.”
The president on Twitter said that he not only wants to meet his “accuser” –the whistleblower — but the person who provided the whistleblower with the information in his complaint.
“In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the ‘Whistleblower,’ Trump tweeted. “Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!”