What did President Donald Trump promise a foreign leader?
That’s the question rattling Washington this morning after an explosive report late Wednesday in the Washington Post detailed a whistleblower’s claim that the president made an alarming offer to a yet-unknown foreign leader that prompted a US intelligence official to file a formal complaint with the inspector general.
The revelation isn’t exactly extraordinary for this president. Trump did, after all, kick off his presidency by disclosing highly classified information to the Russians while chatting in the Oval Office. Last month, he shared what appeared to be a sensitive satellite image on his Twitter account. In between, the president has repeatedly sidelined the intelligence community in favor of foreign interests.
But who’s keeping track? On Wednesday morning, Trump blasted “anybody dumb enough to believe” he’d make such disturbing commitments to a foreign leader. In denying the Post’s report, Trump appeared to assert that he would not have acted inappropriately while others were listening.
….Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2019
Meanwhile, in a closed-door briefing Thursday morning, Trump’s handpicked inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, refused to disclose to lawmakers information on the whistleblower’s complaint—a standoff that once again has Democrats demanding to know whether the administration is covering up on behalf of the president.