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Trump call that prompted IIG complaint involved Ukraine: WaPo



A whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump, which is at the center of a battle between the director of national intelligence and Congress, partly involves Ukraine, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Two former US officials with knowledge of the matter told the Post that the complaint involves a conversation with a foreign leader and a “promise” made by Trump. At least part of the whistle blower’s complaint involves Ukraine, reported the Post, which The New York Times later confirmed.

The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community decided the complaint was sufficiently serious to warrant alerting Congress. However the Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has declined to provide the original complaint to members of Congress, citing advice from the Department of Justice.

Very few specifics are known about the complaint, but here is what has been reported:

  • The complaint was made on August 12.
  • It comes from an unnamed whistleblower, who worked in US intelligence at the White House.
  • The whistleblower alerted the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IGIC), an internal federal watchdog.
  • The complaint was prompted by a phone call between Trump and a foreign leader, according to several outlets.
  • According to the Post, during the call a “promise” was made. No specifics have been made public.
  • According to the Post and New York Times, the complaint involves Ukraine. Details of how are not clear.
  • The complaint did not stem from a single conversation, according to a New York Times report of remarks by the IGIC at a closed door House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Former intelligence officials have told Business Insider that the situation was “unprecedented,” leading one former CIA official to describe it as “equivalent to an imminent threat,” and a “DEFCON 1” situation.

President Trump has denied doing anything wrong.

“Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself,” he tweeted Thursday.

“Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially ‘heavily populated’ call,” Trump wrote.

About two-and-a-half weeks before the whistle blower’s complaint was registered, Trump spoke by telephone with Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, a former TV comedian and political newcomer who was elected in May.

There is no readout of the call on the White House website, but the Ukrainian president’s office in a July 25 readout said “Donald Trump is convinced that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve image of Ukraine, complete investigation of corruption cases, which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”

On July 31 Trump spoke to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said in a statement, where Trump offered US help to extinguish wildfires in Siberia and the two discussed restoring “full relations” between the US and Russia.

It is not clear if either of the calls is the one which prompted the complaint, or a third call.

Separately from the intelligence community complaint, House Democrats are already probing the call with Zelensky.

They want to know whether Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, attempted to pressure Ukrainian authorities to investigate the son of Joe Biden, the frontrunner to be the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 2020 election.

Of the phonecall with the foreign leader, Giuliani told the Post: “I’m not even aware of the fact that he had such a phone call. If I’m not worried about it, he’s not worried about it.

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