A formal whistleblower complaint has been filed stating President Trump has made a troubling “promise” to a foreign leader.
The Washington Post reports that it is not yet clear whom Trump was speaking to or what type of promise he has made, but a former official has confirmed that the communication took place via a phone call. According to Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IG), the whistleblower’s complaint has been deemed credible. The IG labeled the matter an “urgent concern.”
A promise to a foreign leader. Is it Mr.Putin in the library with the end of sanctions in exchange for election interference? Is it MBS in the dining room with a promise to bomb Iran in exchange for loans to Jared? Or is it Kim in the kitchen with withdrawal from South Korea?
— Sybill Trelawney (@SybilT2) September 19, 2019
Strikingly, the Post notes, acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire “has refused to share details about Trump’s alleged transgression with lawmakers, touching off a legal and political dispute that has spilled into public view and prompted speculation that the spy chief is improperly protecting the president.”
The panelists on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday slammed Maguire and the the Trump administration for this move calling it “stonewalling” and “totally a coverup.” One pointed out that this is so shocking, “even in the age of Trump we can say ‘wow!'”
We don’t know yet what terrible thing Trump promised and who he promised it to — only that it’s so bad that the Trump team is taking unprecedented steps to cover the whole thing up.
Here’s what we do know.
The complaint was filed on August 12 while Trump was golfing at Bedminster. The House Intelligence Committee will hear testimony from Atkinson on Thursday.
In the five weeks prior to the complaint, White House records show that Trump had a phone call with Vladimir Putin.
The White House only now sends a readout of today's call between Trump and Putin:
"President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Vladimir Putin today and expressed concern over the vast wildfires afflicting Siberia. The leaders also discussed trade between the two countries.”
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) August 1, 2019
There is plenty of speculation over what concerning information the whistleblower may possess. It is well known that Trump isn’t very good at handling sensitive information, and many speculate that he let some sort of classified information slip.
A president can declassify anything s/he wants (it’s legal).🤔
So this “credible and urgent” #whistleblower complaint is about something WORSE than when @realDonaldTrump gave code-word level intelligence to the #Russians🇷🇺in the WH.🤬#Treason#TrumpRussia pic.twitter.com/byAzH2gCad
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) September 19, 2019
Looking over the events of the last couple of months, there seems to be a lot of interesting goings-on. The chain of events may be more connected than previously thought, in light of the whistleblower complaint.
July 31st: Trump makes a phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the Washington Examiner, the details of the call given by the White House don’t exactly match up with the details released by the Kremlin:
“The White House, after the Kremlin did, put out a read out that said they discussed potential American assistance to ongoing Siberian wildfires. That raised my curiosity even more. President Trump was barely lifting a finger to fight ongoing wildfires in California. The Kremlin readout, however, added something quite different. It said, quote, ‘that the Russian president viewed Trump’s offer as a sign that fully fledged bilateral relations could be restored in the future.’ The Russians seemed to have an indication that President Trump had pledged or promised a restoration of diplomatic relations, of bilateral relations in a way that the White House certainly didn’t allude to in its readout.”
….coincides with the retirement of Dan Coats. A new Acting Director of National Intelligence will be named shortly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
Aug 12: The whistleblower filed their complaint.
Aug 23: Trump asks G7 to let Putin back in “because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia.”
Aug 28: Trump delays funds to the Ukraine.
Sept 12: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff issues a subpoena claiming that Maguire is withholding the whistleblower complaint:
“This raises serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct.”
Sept 19: Maguire testifies before House Intelligence Committee regarding the whistleblower’s complaint.
There is one person, however, who’s voice has been oddly silent:
Trump’s total silence in the wake of the IC whistleblower complaint speaks volumes.
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) September 19, 2019