• A whistleblower complaint by an intelligence officer claims that President Donald Trump made a promise to a foreign leader during a phone conversation, reported the Washington Post on Wednesday. The report noted that it is not known whom Trump was speaking to or what promise he made.
• Michael Atkinson, Intelligence Community Inspector General, confirmed the credibility of the complaint, the Post said. However, Joseph Maguire, Director of National Intelligence, shared no details on the complaint, saying the matter is beyond his jurisdiction.
• Trump dismissed the Washington Post report in a tweet, saying is there "anybody dumb enough to believe" it.
• In a statement, House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, said that Atkinson is scheduled to appear at a closed hearing the committee on Thursday. Maguire will testify before the panel in an open session next week.
• The whistleblower complaint was filed on August 12. As per the White House records, Trump spoke to five foreign leaders in the past five weeks - Prime Minister of Pakistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the Emir of Qatar, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
There must be a lot at stake if this is the response to a whistleblower complaint that implicates the president. Something crucially important must’ve happened, why else would a high ranking intelligence officer put his reputation and job on the line? The DNI is obligated by law to disclose to the Congressional Intelligence Committee what the whistleblower has said. The failure to comply can hold him in contempt. This is a deeply troubling development that jeopardizes the integrity of our principles of checks and balances, a feature of our country that is integral to its political operations.
What is the DNI thinking by withholding credible and urgent information from the representatives of the people? We cannot let these loyalists manipulate all aspects of our system, that’s what we call corruption. If there was nothing to hide, this show and dance would’ve never occurred. Whistleblower complaints come with laws that mobilize a process of investigation. If this process is obstructed, we are willfully walking blind knowing that there’s an un-investigated complaint that might implicate presidential behavior that is putting our country in jeopardy. Though we don’t know yet, for certain, which individual is implicated, chatter points to Trump. However, whether it is Trump or not, we need a follow-up.
An aspect of Trump’s presidential duties is diplomacy. Arguably, good diplomacy is incredibly important as a leading country on the global political stage. The president should be able to talk candidly to other leaders, without an anonymous intelligence employee listening in on behalf of their agency. That’s called wiretapping. How else is our president supposed to talk to foreign leaders as he sees fit, in order to negotiate deals and shift opinions to coincide with the U.S.’ best interests?
Even more problematic is that this story has been prematurely reported and making the rounds. We still don’t know much. The foreign leader in question is still unknown, there’s no clarity on what statement was the culprit, nor can we discern whether it crossed the line or unprecedented. There’s no proof for us to pick apart the nature of what’s going on here. But it’s already blown up into a story that paints an unfavorable picture of Trump, like so many do. When nothing has yet happened or come to the surface, then why do we report on speculations? Is reporting just that, speculative reporting? When there are no facts, there is no story.
This is an underdeveloped issue that hasn’t quite met the standards to create an unbiased narrative, as all we know is filled with gaps. When we fill them in ourselves we are left with heavily biased and misleading headlines. Conclusions are drawn at rapid speed, and we all know how it goes. Once it’s been said, it’s been heard. No matter the outcome here, the Dems take it as a slam-dunk. “Look, see! We said so! Trump is bad.” That method has been a daily occurrence since he won the election. But “he said, she said” doesn’t do much, no matter how often you push it through the news, when the people simply want 4 more years of Trump. Good luck with those “polls” too, we know how accurate those are. You can’t wish things away. Living in reality will allow you to actually participate in it.