Posted by: maboulette | September 18, 2019

Trump and Secrets


phone call

Washington Post has just reported that Trump call with a foreign leader is part of a whistleblower complaint.  The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

PROMISE MADE

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 whistle blower 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.

NOT NONE WHICH FOREIGN LEADER

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.

WH NO RESPOND

The White House did not respond to requests for comment. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and a lawyer representing the whistle blower declined to comment. 

URGENT CONCERN

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that ordinarily requires notification of congressional oversight committees.

REFUSE TO SHARE

But 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 and prompted speculation that the spy chief is improperly protecting the president.

CLOSED SESSION

The dispute is expected to escalate Thursday when Atkinson is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a classified session closed to the public. The hearing is the latest move by committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) to compel U.S. intelligence officials to disclose the full details of the whistleblower complaint to Congress.   Maguire has agreed to testify before the committee next week, according to a statement by Schiff. He declined to comment for this story.

RELEASED WEDNESDAY EVENING

The inspector general “determined that this complaint is both credible and urgent,” Schiff said in the statement released Wednesday evening. “The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress.”

FILED 8/12

The complaint was filed with Atkinson’s office on Aug. 12, a date on which Trump was at his golf resort in New Jersey. White House records indicate that Trump had had conversations or interactions with at least five foreign leaders in the preceding five weeks.

PUTIN

Among them was a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the White House initiated on July 31. Trump also received at least two letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the summer, describing them as “beautiful” messages. In June, Trump said publicly that he was opposed to certain CIA spying operations against North Korea. Referring to a Wall Street Journal report that the agency had recruited Kim’s half-brother, Trump said, “I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices.”


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