TRUMP DRAMA: Whistleblower, Ukraine, Joe Biden, and 2020

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Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

A whistleblower complaint about President Trump made by an intelligence official centers on Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter, which has set off a struggle between Congress and the executive branch.

The complaint involved communications with a foreign leader and a “promise” that Trump allegedly made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said.

Two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed, Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish comedian, who was elected in a landslide in May.

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Guliani said on CNN he indeed had spoken with a Ukrainian official about Joe Biden’s possible role in that government’s dismissal of a prosecutor who investigated Biden’s son.

The Hill reports Cuomo asked Guliani if he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden to which the lawyer answered “”No, actually I didn’t. I asked Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.”

Adding in, “The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko … dismissed the case against AntAC” referring to former Ukrainian prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and the Ukrainian-based Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC).

“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden,” Cuomo said. 

“Of course I did,” Giuliani replied. 

“You just said you didn’t,” Cuomo responded.

“I didn’t ask them to look into Joe Biden,” Giuliani said. “I asked them to look into the allegations that related to my client which tangentially involved Joe Biden.” 

Today Trump declared that the complaint was made by a “partisan whistleblower,” though he later said he did not know the identity of the person. He chided reporters for asking about it and said the complaint was “just another political hack job.”

“I have conversations with many leaders. It’s always appropriate. Always appropriate,” Trump said. “At the highest level always appropriate. And anything I do, I fight for this country.”

AP reports The administration is keeping Congress from even learning what exactly the whistleblower is alleging, but the intelligence community’s inspector general said the matter involves the “most significant” responsibilities of intelligence leadership. A lawmaker said the complaint was “based on a series of events.”

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