According to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter, a whistleblower complaint has triggered a BIG standoff between the intelligence community and Congress involving Trump’s telecommunications with a foreign leader.
The Washington Post is reporting exclusively that,
Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed. It raises new questions about the president’s handling of sensitive information and may further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies. One former official said the communication was a phone call.
Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson has determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of
Rep. Adam Schiff said in the statement released tonight,
“The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress.”
White House records show that Trump had had conversations or interactions with at least five foreign leaders in the preceding five weeks, among them was a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the White House initiated on July 31.
Schiff has demanded full disclosure of the whistleblower complaint.
It not clear whether the whistleblower witnessed Trump’s communication with the foreign leader first-hand or learned of it through other means. Summaries of these kinds of conversations are often distributed among White House staff, but the current administration has imposed limits on this practice after Trump’s disclosures to Russian officials were revealed.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and a lawyer representing the whistleblower have declined to comment.
The White House has also declined to comment.
(Photo, screen grab; via WaPo)