by Shelby Talcott
President Donald Trump told staff members of the U.S.’s delegation to the United Nations Thursday that he wants the name of who gave information to a whistleblower regarding his phone call with Ukraine, adding that the person was “close to a spy” and relating it to treason.
A whistleblower complaint, released to the public Thursday morning, stated that Trump and lawyer Rudy Giuliani had requested help from Ukrainian officials ahead of the 2020 election. The whistleblower received the information from other parties and did not directly hear the allegations, which included a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Trump administration released a transcript of the phone call Wednesday.
Trump referred to the whistleblower Thursday as “crooked” and “close to a spy,” noting that “in the old days” they handled situations of “spies and treason” differently, The New York Times reported.
“I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said according to The NYT. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
The president also said media outlets are “crooked” and “scum” because of how they reported the story, according to The NYT. He spoke as Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Trump didn’t ask for the whistleblower’s identity.
Trump commented on former Vice President Joe Biden as well, condemning his role in Ukraine when his son Hunter Biden was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. A top Ukrainian prosecutor who was fired investigated the company. Trump has accused Joe Biden of using his position to influence Ukraine to help his son and oust former prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
The whistleblower complaint notes that the person got information about the July 25 phone call from multiple U.S. officials. Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon that it was “second hand information” and dismissed the news as a “Fake News Story.”
A whistleblower with second hand information? Another Fake News Story! See what was said on the very nice, no pressure, call. Another Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2019
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Shelby Talcott is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.