Donald Trump continues to level thinly veiled threats at the whistleblower who reported his pressure on the Ukrainian president to dig for dirt on Trump’s political opponents. Asked by reporters if he knows who the whistleblower is—information that’s secret for a reason—Trump responded that “we're trying to find out.”
Trump continued, saying that the whistleblower had reported “things that were incorrect. As you know, and you probably now have figured it out, the statement I made to the President of Ukraine—a good man, a nice man, new—was perfect. It was perfect. But the whistleblower reported a totally different statement. Like, the statement, it's—it was not even made. I guess ‘statement,’ you could say, was the call. I made a call. The call was perfect. When the whistleblower reported it, he made it sound terrible.”
That follows the news that on Thursday Trump said, behind closed doors, “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.” This is how he’s been talking about a whistleblower who followed legal procedures and whose report was found to be credible by the intelligence community’s inspector general. As Sen. Mark Warner said, “Any rational person would be concerned about the whistleblower’s safety after the president’s comments.” Trump also continues to insist, against the documented evidence, that the whistleblower got things wrong, when in fact the whistleblower’s complaint and the White House summary of the call line up incredibly well.
Why would Trump try to find out who the whistleblower is? There’s no possible good answer here, and the reality is that Trump already gave us his answer when his first response was to rant about spies and treason.