Trump on Snowballing Whistleblower Scandal: 'No Problem!'

Photo: Carolyn Kaster (AP)

You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t feel particularly reassured by President Donald Trump when he emphatically suggests that an alleged whistleblower complaint from a member of the intelligence community over an allegedly deeply troubling secret “promise” he made to an unidentified foreign head of state is, in his words, “no problem!”

That, however, is the line Trump seems content to go with, as he blurted out a short Twitter screed to defend against what has quickly become the latest cloak-and-dagger scandal for his administration.

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In fact, the president is notoriously eager to go around various official protocols when making his phone calls, in no small part because allegedly he finds them “too inconvenient.” And, given his unfailing ability to blurt out “something inappropriate” when he’s just hanging out with his buds, I shudder to think what sort of shenanigans he gets up to while whispering into his greasy iPhone.

Despite Trump’s insistence that there’s no problem whatsoever with anything, his administration has still gone out of its way to make sure no one knows what why, specifically, the whistle was blown. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire had initially stubbornly refused to turn over the requested complaint to Congress, forcing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff last week to subpoena Maguire in order to “compel the production of a whistleblower complaint that the Intelligence Community Inspector General’s (IC IG) determined to be credible and a matter of ‘urgent concern.’”

Maguire has now agreed to testify before a committee hearing later this month.

So, now we have a situation in which the president’s cronies are being forced to come kicking and screaming to explain just why someone in the intelligence community was so freaked out by the president that they likely ruined their entire career just to narc him out. But hey: No problem, right?

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Update, 3:33 p.m. ET: On Wednesday afternoon the New York Times reported that Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson has briefed lawmakers on some, but not all, of the details of the mysterious complaint. According to the Times, Atkinson—who found the initial complaint credible—said that it stemmed from multiple instances, and not a single communication between Trump and an unnamed foreign leader. However, the exact nature of the complaint itself remains a mystery, while Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire continues to refuse to turn it over to Congress.

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Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.