- On Friday, President Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory about President Obama and Ukraine
- Trump retweeted Talking Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who claimed, ‘Barack Obama asked Ukraine to investigate his political rival’s campaign manager’
- Politifact had already deemed the tweet ‘mostly untrue,’ saying that there was ‘no evidence’ that Obama ever did such a thing to Paul Manafort
- Trump’s retweet comes after the president was already taking heat for tweeting out an article that contained the name of the alleged whistleblower
- The whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s conduct on a call with the Ukrainian president jumpstarted the impeachment inquiry
President Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory about Ukraine on the heels of posting a tweet that links to an article naming the alleged whistleblower, who kickstarted the Ukraine-related impeachment inquiry.
On Friday, Trump retweeted Talking Point USA found Charlie Kirk’s tweet that said, ‘This is your daily reminder that: Barack Obama asked Ukraine to investigate his political rival’s campaign manager. 3 Democrat senators asked Ukraine to investigate Trump. And the DNC solicited Ukraine’s help to dig up dirt on Trump.’
‘And the media was silent about it,’ Kirk claimed.
Kirk has sent out identical tweets before, with Politifact labeling it ‘mostly false’ as there’s ‘no evidence’ that Obama asked Ukraine to investigate Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.
Manafort is serving a 7.5 year prison term for charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe including violating federal lobbying laws by concealing money he made from pro-Russia political figures in Ukraine.
Trump was already taking heat for retweeting a post from his reelection campaign account that read: ‘It’s pretty simple. The CIA ‘whistleblower’ is not a real whistleblower.’
The post linked to an article from conservative outlet The Washington Examiner, which names the alleged CIA agent who first reported the details of Trump’s now-infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Democrats claim the phone call shows evidence that Trump was trying to get a foreign government to dig up dirt on his political rival Joe Biden, whose son once served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. They allege the president withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to pressure the Ukrainians. Trump denies any wrong doing and says the call was perfect.
Democrats have also steadfastly insisted on keeping the whistleblower’s name a secret in order to protect his safety.
In contrast, Trump has repeatedly pushed for the person’s identity to be revealed, claiming it will show that they are a partisan operative motivated by left-wing bias.
The whistleblower has been described as a male CIA analyst who was detailed to the White House. The Washington Post reported he is driven to and from work by armed security officers out of concern for his safety.
Meanwhile, Trump’s tweet comes despite the fact that several of his closest confidantes have tried to dissuade him from pushing for the release of the whistleblower’s name.
According to The Daily Beast, his daughter Ivanka Trump and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, have warned Trump not to say or post the whistleblower’s name.
However, Trump has repeatedly called upon members of the media to publish the whistleblower’s name.
Several weeks ago he told reporters: ‘You guys ought to release the information.’
‘The whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false stories. Some people would call it fraud. I won’t go that far but, when I read it closely, I probably would.’
The whistleblower’s revelation of details of Trump’s call with Zelensky sparked the official impeachment inquiry against the president, accumulating in last week’s vote in the House, where Trump was formally impeached on two counts.
The president has shown impeachment is on his mind as he spends the holiday season in Mar-a-Lago.
Trump repeatedly expressed his frustration that Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t transmitted the impeachment articles as his Senate trial – where he’s expected to be acquitted in the GOP controlled chamber – cannot begin until they arrive.
He’s attacked her multiple times on Twitter and railed against her when speaking to reporters on Christmas Eve after a phone call with U.S. troops.
Meanwhile, on November 3rd Trump tweeted that the whistleblower ‘got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward.’
He later suggested that the media was deliberately hiding the whistleblower’s ID to help the Democrats.
‘The Fake News Media is working hard so that information about the Whistleblower’s identity, which may be very bad for them and their Democrat partners, never reaches the Public,’ the President wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Jim Jordan rejected an offer by the whistleblower’s attorney Mark Zaid to answer questions in writing as part of the impeachment investigation.
Jordan said: ‘Written answers will not provide a sufficient opportunity to probe all the relevant facts and cross examine the so-called whistleblower.
‘You don’t get to ignite an impeachment effort and never account for your actions and role in orchestrating it.’
Republicans are hoping the whistleblower will testify in person.
Zaid has responded that his team has addressed the issue of alleged bias with Republican members of the committee and has stressed the need for anonymity to maintain the safety of the whistleblower and that person’s family, ‘but with little effect in halting the attacks.’
‘Let me be absolutely clear: Our willingness to cooperate has not changed,’ tweeted Andrew P. Bakaj, another attorney representing the whistleblower, on November 3.
‘What we object to and find offensive, however, is the effort to uncover the identity of the whistleblower.’
Bakaj wrote that Republican ‘fixation on exposing the whistleblower’s identity is simply because they’re at a loss as to how to address the investigations the underlying disclosure prompted.’
The whistleblower’s secondhand account of the call has been providing a road map for House Democrats investigating whether the president and others in his orbit pressured Ukraine to probe political opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden.
U.S. whistleblower laws exist to protect the identity and careers of people who bring forward accusations of wrongdoing by government officials.
Lawmakers in both parties have historically backed those protections.