Wed, 16 Oct 2019

A reported whistle-blower complaint against President Donald Trump allegedly made by a U.S. intelligence official involves Ukraine, The Washington Post and other U.S. media are reporting.

The Post, citing two former U.S. officials, said late on September 19 that the matter involved a 'promise' Trump made during a phone call with 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.

The New York Times, citing two people familiar with the matter, reported that 'at least part of the allegation deals with Ukraine.' It added that it was not immediately clear how Ukraine fits into the allegations.

The acting director of national intelligence has so far refused to allow the details of the complaint to be passed on to Congress, as required by law.

Trump responded to initial reports of the complaint with the inspector-general, calling it 'fake news.'

'Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem!' Trump wrote on Twitter.

'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!'

Michael Atkinson, the inspector-general, testified behind closed doors to members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on September 19 about the whistle-blower's complaint. He repeatedly declined to discuss with members the content of the complaint, saying he was not authorized to do so.

The Post report noted that 2 1/2 weeks before the complaint was filed, the U.S. president spoke with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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.

With reporting by The Washington Post and The New York Times

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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