President Trump wants everyone to know the identity of the alleged whistleblower.
Taking to Twitter early on Sunday morning, the president criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and his resistance to naming the whistleblower.
“Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify. NO!” Trump tweeted. “Must testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong, not even close.”
“Did Schiff tell him to do that?” the president asked. “We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA.”
“Democrat’s game was foiled when we caught Schiff fraudulently making up my Ukraine conversation, when I released the exact conversation Transcript, and when Ukrainian President and the Foreign Minister said there was NO PRESSURE, very normal talk!” Trump added. “A total Impeachment Scam!”
….Democrat’s game was foiled when we caught Schiff fraudulently making up my Ukraine conversation, when I released the exact conversation Transcript, and when Ukrainian President and the Foreign Minister said there was NO PRESSURE, very normal talk! A total Impeachment Scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
Schiff, who put himself at the center of the whistleblower controversy—having conversations with the whistleblower before the individual spoke with the Inspector General—admitted on Sunday to handling the situation poorly.
“I should have been much more clear,” Schiff said during CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, the Washington Examiner reports. “I was referring to the fact that when the whistleblower filed the complaint, we had not heard from the whistleblower. We wanted to bring the whistleblower in at that time, but I should have been much more clear about that.”
The Washington Examiner adds:
Earlier this month it was revealed that Schiff, 59, did, in fact, know details about the whistleblower’s complaint against Trump before it was formally filed. The whistleblower reached out and made contact with one of the committee aides beforehand, who then told Schiff about the conversation but reportedly didn’t reveal the whistleblower’s identity.
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The complaint alleges that Trump improperly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Democrats initially said they were investigating whether a quid pro quo was involved, although Schiff said Sunday that a quid pro quo is not necessary for Trump’s request to be an impeachable offense.
Watch the interview below:
Speaking on the contents of the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian President, Schiff alleged Trump was guilty of quid pro quo agreement.
“We have discovered in short order not only the contents of that call, but also the preparatory work that went into the call. The effort to condition something the Ukrainian president deeply sought, and that was a meeting with the president to establish that this new president of Ukraine had a powerful patron in the president of the United States that was of vital importance to Ukraine, was being conditioned on digging up dirt on the Bidens,” Schiff said, also per the Washington Examiner.
Margaret Brennan responded, “So, you see that as the quid quo pro, not just the military aid.”
“Well, first of all, there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo. But it is clear already, I think, from the text messages that this meeting that the Ukrainian president sought was being conditioned on their willingness to intervene in the U.S. election to help the president,” the California congressman responded. “That is a terrible abuse of the president’s power. Now whether that abuse goes further, that is the withholding of military aid also as leverage, there’s certainly strong indication that’s true as well.”
The release of the Trump-Zelensky call transcript countered concerns of an explicit quid pro quo in regard to military aid that had been approved for Ukraine.