Trump rails against whistleblower


President Trump on Saturday lashed out against House Democrats' impeachment inquiry while blasting the U.S. intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint has helped fuel the probe.

Trump asserted in a tweet that the whistleblower's complaint was "way off" and claimed that key Democrats didn't think he would release a transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president, which sparked the scrutiny.

"The so-called Whistleblower’s account of my perfect phone call is 'way off,' not even close," he tweeted.

"Schiff and Pelosi never thought I would release the transcript of the call. Got them by surprise, they got caught," Trump added, referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "This is a fraud against the American people!"

Trump's tweet came the morning after The New York Times reported that a second intelligence official was considering whether to file their own whistleblower complaint over concerns about the president's dealings with Ukraine.

The person reportedly has more direct information than the first whistleblower, who did not have direct knowledge but cited “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge.”

Pelosi last week announced that Democrats would launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump over his dealings with Ukraine. The probe is being handled by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform committees.

The inquiry is largely centered around the whistleblower complaint filed over Trump's dealings with Ukraine. The complaint alleged that Trump tried to seek foreign help in the 2020 election, including by pushing Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic presidential candidate's son Hunter Biden.

The White House released a rough transcript of the July 25 call that matched key details from the whistleblower complaint. Trump was quoted in the memo as asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to "look into" the former vice president. Trump this week also publicly encouraged Ukraine and China to launch probes into Biden.

“I would think that if they were honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about Ukraine.

House Democrats have ramped up their impeachment probe in recent days, issuing a subpoena on Friday for Ukraine-related documents from the White House and issuing a request for similar information from Vice President Pence.

“We deeply regret that President Trump has put us—and the nation—in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,” Schiff, in addition to Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), wrote to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Friday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already received a subpoena. Pompeo said Saturday that he has made contact with the committees on the matter. A Foreign Affairs Committee official confirmed that the panel had been contacted but said that Pompeo missed the Friday deadline for documents.

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