United States President Donald Trump on Friday wondered who had provided information to a whistleblower who, earlier this week, leaked details of his conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Bloomberg reported.
On July 25, Trump had pushed Zelenskiy during a phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, and asked him to contact Attorney General William Barr. Biden is a contender for the Democratic Party nomination for the presidency. Trump released the call transcript on Wednesday.
“Who’s the person that gave the whistleblower the information?” the US president asked at a closed-door meeting. “Because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart, right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
In another clip, Trump said, referring to the media: “We’re at war. These people are sick.”
The president claimed the whistleblower had said nothing about his interaction with Zelenskiy. “So the whistleblower came out, and said...nothing,” he said. “A couple of people told me he had a conversation with Ukraine.”
“They’re sick,” Trump said again, referring to the media. “And nobody has called it out like I do. I don’t understand. People are afraid to call it out. They are afraid to say that the press is crooked.”
The president continued to vent his anger at the media. “We have a crooked press,” Trump continued. “We have a dishonest media. So now they are devastated. But they will always find something. I am sure they will find something in this report that will suit their lie.”
On Tuesday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi had announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump. In a new complaint on Thursday, the whistleblower alleged that senior White House officials tried to “lock down” details of the phone call.
Trump released aid to Ukraine in September after withholding it for about two months. This sparked speculation that he had withheld the money to put more pressure on his Ukrainian counterpart. In a press conference following the release of the transcript, Trump denied that he tried to pressure Zelenskiy “to do things that they wanted under the form of political threat”. He claimed he did not threaten anyone.
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