Facing a Twitter storm of protest, Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday defended his decision to tweet a story that contained the alleged name of the whistleblower who provoked the impeachment inquiry.
“The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name hasn’t been in the public domain for weeks now? Numerous people & news outlets including Real Clear Politics already ID’d him.”
The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name hasn’t been in the public domain for weeks now? Numerous people & news outlets including Real Clear Politics already ID’d him. https://t.co/bcamyTaXP3
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 6, 2019
Although the alleged name has been stated publicly, some Republicans are urging the media to do so. During a Monday night rally with President Donald Trump, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said, “I say tonight to the media: do your job and print his name.” (RELATED: Trump Calls Whistleblower’s Source ‘Close To A Spy,’ Relates To Treason)
The lead Republican attorney in the impeachment inquiry also revealed the name of the alleged whistleblower when he was questioning Bill Taylor, the acting ambassador of Ukraine and a friendly witness for the House Democrats running the inquiry.
Much debate and controversy has focused on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading the inquiry. While the California congressman has claimed that he had no knowledge of the whistleblower prior to the complaint going public, there is some evidence that he had met with the whistleblower previously. Trump and others have suggested an even deeper relationship and accused Schiff of helping to write the whistleblower’s complaint.
The New York Times may have know the presumed name for quite some time. The paper printed a story in late September that reported the individual to have been a CIA agent seconded for duty in the White House. (RELATED: New York Times Won’t Unmask Whistleblower, Top Editor Tells WaPo)
Anyone revealing the name of a whistleblower could be subject to federal charges.
Former CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou has been highly critical of the lengths the Democrats and much of the media have gone to in order to protect the identify of the whistleblower. In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Kiriakou called the individual who helped ignite the current impeachment inquiry nothing but “an anonymous source for Democratic staff in the House of Representatives.”