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Trump defends himself against whistle-blower’s ‘ridiculous’ complaint

President Donald J. Trump convenes a hurricane briefing with Deputy Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Peter T. Gaynor, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and other officials, Monday, Sep. 9, 2019, aboard Air Force One during a stop in Havelock, N.C. (Official White House Photo Shealah Craighead)
September 21, 2019

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. President Donald Trump has dismissed a whistle-blower’s complaint reported to relate to a promise he allegedly made to a foreign leader — believed to be Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy — as “ridiculous.”

“It’s a partisan whistle-blower,” Trump told reporters on September 20 with Democrats trying to get the complaint turned over to Congress.

Citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported on September 19 that some of the whistle-blower’s allegations appear to center on Ukraine.

The Post, citing two former U.S. officials, said the matter involved a “promise” Trump made during a phone call to a foreign leader that was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House filed a complaint with the inspector-general of the intelligence community.

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The complaint was filed on August 12, less than a month after Trump and Ukraine’s newly elected president spoke by phone on July 25.

Democrats in the House of Representatives have already begun to investigate that call to determine whether Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, sought to manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign by launching an investigation into potential Democratic rival Joe Biden, whose son did business in Ukraine.

On September 20, Trump tweeted about “the perfectly fine and respectful conversation.”

“There was nothing said wrong,” he wrote.

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson has said the complaint consists of a “serious or flagrant problem, abuse or violation of the law” that involves classified information, according to a letter to lawmakers revealed earlier this month.

However, the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has so far refused to allow the details of the complaint to be passed on to Congress, as required by law, sparking an outcry among Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on September 20 that the complaint raises “grave, urgent concerns for our national security.”