Trump Likens Whistleblower To A Spy, Waxes Nostalgic About Historical Consequences For Spying and Treason
[guest post by Dana]
Speaking at a private event at the Intercontinental Hotel in New York, President Trump lashed out at the whistleblower and aides who passed on the information that lead to the complaint at the heart of the impeachment inquiry:
President Trump expressed disgust Thursday morning with the explosive whistleblower complaint, slamming the intelligence officer and the White House aides who helped him or her as “almost a spy” and suggested it was treason.
Speaking at a private event in New York, Trump described reporters as “scum” and raged at the Democrats’ new impeachment proceedings, which were spurred by the whistleblower’s complaint alleging that Trump tried to strong-arm Ukraine’s leader to interfere in the 2020 election.
“Basically, that person never saw the report, never saw the call, he never saw the call — heard something and decided that he or she, or whoever the hell they saw — they’re almost a spy,” Trump said.
“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” he continued. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
The president then went on to recap his conversation with Zelensky, which he claimed was “perfect”:
“They said, ‘Was he pressuring you?’” Trump said, describing the question to Zelensky, who responded that he hadn’t felt any “push” but also said he didn’t want to get involved in a U.S. political squabble.
“You know, these animals in the press,” Trump went on. “They’re animals, some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.”
Someone in the room shouted out “Fake news!” egging the president on.
“They’re scum,” Trump continued. “Many of them are scum, and then you have some good reporters, but not many of them, I’ll be honest with you.”
Additionally, he attacked Joe Biden as well:
“And then you have Sleepy Joe Biden who’s dumb as a rock,” Trump went on. “This guy was dumb on his best day and he’s not having his best day right now. He’s dumb as a rock. So you have Sleepy Joe and his kid, who’s got a lot of problems, he got thrown out of the Navy — look, I’m not going to, it’s a problem … so we won’t get into why. He got thrown out of the Navy and now this kid goes into Ukraine, walks away with millions of dollars, he becomes a consultant for $50,000 a month and he doesn’t know anything compared to anybody at this firm. He’s a stiff. He knows nothing. He’s walking away with $50,000.”
We now know that the whistleblower is a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point in time.
Observation: In the same breath, a sitting US president is not only demanding the names of individuals involved with providing information to a whistleblower, and the name of the whistleblower himself, but he is doing so while pointing out the historical consequences for spying and committing treason. The president appears oblivious or ignorant about whistleblower protections and how his intimidating remarks might stifle other potential whistleblowers. Given Trump’s remarks, is it any wonder the whistleblower in this case wouldn’t want to be publicly identified? This should trouble all of us.