Trump Denies Whistleblower Claims, and Deflects; Business as Usual

In August, an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint with Michael Atkinson, Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), alerting him to multiple “troubling” conversations between Trump and a “mystery counterpart.” The counterpart was a (then) unidentified foreign leader. During at least one of the conversations, Trump allegedly made a promise to the leader, according to the whistleblower.

Though the U.S. Intelligence community determined that the whistleblower’s report was “urgent and credible” and forwarded it to acting director of national intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire, Maguire did not give the report to Congress, apparently on advisement from the White House and the Justice Department. 

According to the DNI, the report involved “confidential and potentially privileged matters relating to the interests of other stakeholders within the executive branch.”

Later, it was revealed that the “mystery counterpart” was from the Ukraine, and was in fact Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky. 

In addition to suspecting a coverup and an abuse of power on the part of Trump, Democrats now suspect that Trump may have tried to use the promise of U.S. military aid to the Ukraine to initiate a probe into Ukraine business dealings by Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son.

Trump allegedly told Zelensky “roughly eight times” to work with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate Hunter Biden. Trump alleges that Joe Biden demanded that the Ukrainian government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son. 

Joe Biden denies this.

As if on cue, Rudy Giuliani, in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, first denied that he had asked Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, then later in the same interview, when asked again, said, “Of course I did!” Giuliani later said he had misspoken. 

Also as if on cue, Trump deflected attention away from the scandal and toward Biden: “It doesn’t matter what I discussed with world leaders,” he told reporters. “I’ll tell you this: Somebody ought to look into Joe Biden‘s statement.”

And though Trump claimed not to know the identity of the whistleblower, he slammed him or her as a partisan, calling the situation a “political hack job” and ridiculing the news media for covering it.

“The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine,” Trump tweeted.

Biden responded by saying “Not one single, credible outlet has given any credibility to his assertion.”

“…I have no comment except the president should start to be president,” Biden added.

Meanwhile, Democrats are calling for impeachment while Trump supporters are citing this scandal as more “proof” that Democrats and the media are involved in nothing but a “witch hunt” aimed at bringing Trump down. 

Since its inception, this administration has regularly been the subject of scandals that would have ruined other politicians. For Trump, however. each instance seems to strengthen the support of his base. Though some say this whistleblower’s complaint, if proven, could be especially damaging to Trump, recent history has shown that it will most likely be all but forgotten when the next potentially ruinous Trump controversy du jour overshadows it.

President Donald Trump Blasts Growing Whistleblower Firestorm As ‘Ridiculous’ | NBC Nightly News [2019-09-20]

The Trump WHISTLEBLOWER Story Is A SHAM! | FOTM | ATS | Huckabee

Peter Strzok Fired Despite Initial FBI Decision

FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok has been fired, following the discovery of text messages by Strzok that disparaged Donald Trump during the 2106 presidential campaign. Strzok, a 21-year FBI veteran, had been instrumental in the FBI investigation into Hilary Clinton’s private email server, and took part in the FBI recommendation that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton. Peter Strzok was also involved in beginning of the FBI investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.

Originally, and in accordance with FBI procedure, the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) had made the decision to demote Peter Strzok from supervisory duties, along with giving him a 60-day suspension. On Friday, August 10, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich reversed that decision.

“Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI – finally. The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer,” tweeted Donald Trump.  “Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the Witch Hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total Hoax. No Collusion, No Obstruction – I just fight back!”

Later, Trump tweeted, “Just fired Agent Strzok, formerly of the FBI, was in charge of the Crooked Hillary Clinton sham investigation. It was a total fraud on the American public and should be properly redone!”

Strzok and a former FBI attorney, Lisa Page, had been involved in an extramarital affair, and had exchanged numerous text messages mocking politicians from both parties, but showing particular disdain for Donald Trump. Before the 2016 presidential election, Page and Strzok exchanged a set of texts that, when discovered, appeared to Trump supporters to be evidence that Strzok’s political views could impact the Russia investigation.

Lisa Page texted, “(Trump is) “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok’s response was “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Later, Strzok explained that by that he meant that, because of Trump’s behavior, voters would never support him.

Peter Strzok has apologized, and maintains that at no time have his personal political beliefs influenced his actions as an FBI agent. His 21 years of service have born that out. It remains to be seen how, or if, Strzok’s firing will impact the ongoing Russia investigation.

“The suggestion that I’m in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards, and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me — it simply couldn’t happen,” Peter Strzok has said.

Strzok lawyer claims firing was politically motivated | Fox News [2018-08-13]

FBI Fires Agent Peter Strzok, Who Sent Anti-Trump Texts | NBC Nightly News