These are the first concrete steps taken as Democrats seek to build a case for impeachment.
Members of the House Intelligence Committee had said they planned to continue working next week through Congress’s scheduled recess, promising a very busy next few weeks.
Lawmakers shared their plans hours after Trump called for the committee’s chairman to resign and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Attorney General William P. Barr of having “gone rogue.”
The fallout from a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky played out on Capitol Hill, Twitter and television Friday, as the number of Democrats supporting the impeachment inquiry launched by Pelosi continued to grow.
Meanwhile, more than 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials signed a statement supporting an impeachment inquiry based on Trump’s pressing Zelensky during their July call to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, and his son Hunter Biden.
Video of Trump describing the whistleblower and those who leaked to him or her as like spies and treason
● Fix reporters Aaron Blake and Amber Phillips chatted live with readers on the whistleblower complaint, impeachment and what happens next
7:40 p.m.: Amodei denies supporting impeachment after comments signaling openness to inquiry
Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) on Friday denied supporting impeachment after signaling openness to an inquiry earlier in the day.
Instead, he said, he agreed with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-Nev.) statement to local media that “we have to follow the facts and figure out what happened here.”
“In no way, shape, or form, did I indicate support for impeachment,” Amodei said in a statement.
Amodei told reporters on a conference call Friday that he was not yet convinced Trump broke the law but said, “Let’s put it through the process and see what happens,” according to the Reno Gazette Journal.
“If it’s proven you were using government agencies to try to put your finger on the scale of an election, then I don’t care who the president is, I don’t think that’s right,” he added.
Amodei said he has reviewed the White House readout of the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as well as the whistleblower complaint, and called the documents “something to discuss.”
“No part of my process will be political,” he said. “If you broke the law, there are consequences for that.”
This is the closest a current House Republican has come to supporting the impeachment inquiry. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), a frequent Trump critic who called for the president’s impeachment before he left the GOP on July 4, also supports the impeachment inquiry. Currently all but 11 Democrats in the House support the decision to move forward with the investigation.
Amodei took issue with the reactions to the Nevada Independent’s report that stated, “Rep. Mark Amodei supports the House’s inquiry into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, but is withholding judgment on whether Trump has crossed the legal line.”
“Anyone who reads Mr. [Humberto] Sanchez’s article and thinks that somehow there is a vote to convict before the process has played out — as called for by the resolution unanimously supported by everyone concerned — is simply, individual fantasy,” Amodei said in his statement Friday evening.
Jon Ralston, the Independent’s editor, tweeted that he was not surprised media “leapt” on the paper’s story and called Amodei’s pushback “hypersensitivity.”
“Amodei wants the inquiry/investigation/probe to continue before he makes up his mind,” he wrote.
6:55 p.m.: House Intelligence Committee to hold closed briefing with Atkinson next Friday
The House Intelligence Committee will hold a closed-door meeting with Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, on Oct. 4, Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said Friday in a letter to colleagues.
Noting the subpoena to the State Department and scheduled depositions of State Department employees announced earlier in the day, Schiff wrote that “more subpoenas and investigatory steps” will follow next week.
Further witnesses to testify in closed or public settings are being identified, he said.
6:35 p.m.: Pelosi tells Democratic colleagues Trump’s actions indicate ‘disregard’ for national security, election integrity and oath of office
The House speaker told Democratic colleagues Friday evening that Trump’s much-scrutinized phone call with Zelensky indicated the president’s “disregard” for national security, the integrity of elections and his oath of office. Facts revealed this week call for an impeachment inquiry, she said.
“I have always said that any decision we make would be based on a review of the facts and the oath that we take,” Pelosi wrote. “I have also said that when the facts warranted it, we would be ready to proceed.”
The speaker lamented a “sad time for our country,” saying, “None of us has come to Congress to impeach a president.”
But Trump’s efforts to use his position to solicit foreign meddling in U.S. elections represent a “profound national security concern” because they put the president’s personal interests before those of the country and its closest partners, Pelosi wrote.
She pointed to the whistleblower complaint that led to public revelations about the phone call and acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire’s testimony that the intelligence community’s most important task is protecting the U.S. election system.
She said Democratic House members would be included in conference calls during the two-week break that begins this weekend.
“With our inquiry in place, we can focus on promoting our For The People agenda,” Pelosi told colleagues.
5:10 p.m.: Amodei becomes first current GOP House member to signal support for impeachment inquiry
Nevada’s only Republican congressman indicated Friday that he would consider voting in favor of impeaching Trump if the facts bore it out after the House finishes its investigation.
“If it’s proven you were using government agencies to try to put your finger on the scale of an election, then I don’t care who the president is, I don’t think that’s right,” he added.
Amodei said he had reviewed the White House readout of the July phone call, as well as the whistleblower complaint, and wasn’t convinced Trump broke the law, but said the documents are “something to discuss.”
“No part of my process will be political,” he said. “If you broke the law, there are consequences for that.”
This is the closest a current House Republican has come to supporting the impeachment inquiry. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), a frequent Trump critic who called for the president’s impeachment before he left the GOP on July 4, also supports the impeachment inquiry. Currently all but 11 Democrats support the decision to move forward with the investigation.
5 p.m.: RNC launching massive ad campaign off impeachment inquiry
The Republican National Committee announced Friday it is launching a $10 million effort to run television and online ads targeting vulnerable House Democrats over their stance on launching an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
The ads will begin airing Sunday in 25 to 50 House districts, according to RNC officials. They added that the RNC has not purchased a TV ad in eight years.
One TV ad released by the committee attacks Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), who unseated a Republican incumbent in 2018 in a district that voted for Trump in 2016, for siding with “the radicals for endless investigations of President Trump, wasting our tax dollars.”
The RNC has amassed a record-breaking war chest since Trump’s election, with the help of the president’s fundraising prowess.
4:20 p.m.: Top House committees subpoena Secretary of State Pompeo over Ukraine
Leaders of top House committees subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Friday for documents related to their investigation into President Trump and his asking Ukraine to investigate a possible 2020 political opponent.
They also alerted Pompeo in a separate letter that they have scheduled depositions beginning next week with five State Department officials, beginning Tuesday with former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch, whom Trump disparaged during his phone conversation with the Ukrainian president in July.
The letters were signed by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), Oversight Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.).
“The Committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression,” the chairmen wrote.
Documents requested from Pompeo include a list of any State Department officials involved in the controversial July 25 call between Trump and the Ukrainian president as well as any correspondence since Trump’s inauguration about investigations that refer to Hunter Biden, Burisma Holdings — the natural gas company the former vice president’s son worked for, among others.
In addition to Yovanovitch, the chairmen have scheduled hearings with:
● Kurt Volker, U.S. special representative to Ukraine who met with Rudolph W. Giuliani and agreed to connect him with Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky.
● George Kent, a career Foreign Service officer, is deputy assistant secretary of state in the European and Eurasian Bureau, overseeing policy toward Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. He served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev from 2015 to 2018.
● T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, State Department counselor who was named in the whistleblower complaint as the State official who listened in on the Trump-Zelensky call.
● Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who Giuliani said he briefed on his conversations with Ukrainians.
3:45 p.m.: Senate Republicans signal they’ll hold a trial if House votes to impeach
If at the end of the impeachment investigation the House votes to impeach President Trump, it will trigger a trial in the Senate to determine whether to convict the president.
Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have been critical of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to move forward with impeachment, but no one has suggested that the Senate wouldn’t hold a trial.
“If they impeach, it has to be, we have to have a trial,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)
Asked if it’s possible that the Senate would seek to change the rules to eliminate a trial, Lankford said, “No one I’ve talked to has even implied to me at all, let’s go change the rules so we don’t have to deal with this.”
“I would not support just walking away saying let’s do a rule change so we don’t do this,” he added.
In March, McConnell told NPR that if the House impeached Trump he’d hold a trial in the Senate, but he hasn’t commented on that since Pelosi announced the inquiry on Tuesday.
“If it were to happen, the Senate has no choice,” McConnell said then. “If the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into trial.”
When asked if McConnell stands by that, his spokesman Doug Andres said, “I have nothing to add to the Leader’s comments from March.”
3 p.m.: Schiff: ‘It’s going to be a very busy couple of weeks ahead.’
The House Intelligence Committee chairman wouldn’t offer details Friday about next steps for the impeachment inquiry, but he said committee members are going to be busy.
“I don’t want to comment about any specifics, but I can tell you it’s going to be a very busy couple of weeks ahead,” Schiff told reporters. “We’re going to be trying to schedule hearings, witness interviews. We’ll be working on subpoenas and document requests. We’ll be busy.”
If the White House stonewalls, he said, “they’ll just strengthen the case on obstruction.”
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), who also sits on the Intelligence Committee, suggested a lot of work could get done in the next weeks. “The Speaker’s made it very clear that we are not to let momentum drop in these two weeks,” he said.
Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier (Calif.), another member of the panel, said next steps will include speaking to Rudolph W. Giuliani and the whistleblower as well as other people on the call.
“I think that we are going to want to interview persons that were engaged in what is clearly a scheme. This is not a one-off. This is not just a phone call. This is a scheme that was hatched some time ago, and you can see evidence of it dating back to 2018,” Speier said. “And I want to see us come up with that timeline, because this is a truly corrupt undertaking.”
But Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), asked whether the House will seek other transcripts that could be on the classified server beyond the Ukraine call, said he doesn’t know if that’s necessary for this investigation.
“Assume that if he’s acting shady with a Ukrainian president who was just elected, he’s probably acted shady in the long-standing relationships he’s had with Putin and MBS, particularly over Khashoggi,” Swalwell said, referring to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by his initials. “He said he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and get away with it. We have him holding the weapon now and it’s a question of whether he is right about who we are as Americans. I think he’s wrong, and I don’t think we need to go interview a thousand witnesses when he’s copped to it.”
— Karoun Demirjian and Mike DeBonis
2:30 p.m.: House committees request documents on delay of Ukraine military aid
Two powerful committees that oversee the federal budget and spending have requested from the White House a timeline and relevant documents that explain how the United States came to withhold almost $4oo million in military aid to Ukraine.
Central to the committees’ concerns are reports that the Office of Management and Budget was responsible for relaying to the State Department and the Pentagon President Trump’s order to hold back the funds to Ukraine.
“As reports continue to emerge, we have deepening concerns that OMB continues to demonstrate a pattern of impeding agencies’ ability to use their enacted appropriations,” wrote House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) and House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), in a joint letter to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and OMB Acting Director Russell Vought.
The Democrats have asked OMB to answer a list of questions, including when the White House first instructed the other agencies to withhold the money, and to provide documentation showing “the factual, legal, and policy bases upon which these actions were taken.”
2:05 p.m.: Senate Democrats involve Trump judicial nominee in Ukraine controversy
Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats want one of Trump’s judicial nominees to the federal bench to disclose what he knew about Trump’s call with Zelensky and the subsequent whistleblower complaint.
Steven Menashi, a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York, is currently working as White House associate counsel. During his confirmation hearing earlier this month he enraged Democrats and some Republicans by refusing to disclose basic details about his work at the White House.
The 10 Democrats on the panel, led by ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), sent a letter to Menashi on Friday requesting information about any work he’s done related to the Ukraine matter.
“We write to inquire about your knowledge of or involvement with any of the events related to a telephone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky on July 25, 2019, or a whistleblower complaint about that call and efforts to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the upcoming 2020 U.S. election,” they wrote.
1:35 p.m.: Schiff highlights statement signed by national security officials
Schiff took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to highlight the statement signed by more than 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials warning that Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine are a “profound national security concern” and supporting an impeachment inquiry.
“The consensus of national security experts is clear: President Trump’s actions concerning Ukraine endanger America’s security,” Schiff said in his tweet. “By subjugating the national interest to his own political interest, Trump has shown he is incapable and unwilling to fulfill his oath of office.”
12:50 p.m.: White House hopeful Gabbard drops opposition to impeachment inquiry
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), the last of the 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls to oppose an impeachment inquiry, announced a change of position Friday.
“Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment because it will further divide our already divided country,” Gabbard said in a statement. “However, after looking carefully at the transcript of the conversation with Ukraine’s President, the whistleblower complaint, the Inspector General memo, and President Trump’s comments about the issue, unfortunately, I believe that if we do not proceed with the inquiry, it will set a very dangerous precedent.”
12:30 p.m.: Former senator Flake: ‘not a lot of love for this president’
Former senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) elaborated Friday on his claim a day before that at least 35 Republican senators would vote for Trump’s impeachment if they could do so privately.
“Anybody who has sat through two years, as I have, of Republican luncheons realizes that there’s not a lot of love for the president,” Flake said during an interview with NPR. “There’s a lot of fear of what it means to go against the president.”
Flake made his initial assessment Thursday at the Texas Tribune Festival.
Speaking to NPR, he added that he himself considers impeachment a bad idea.
“I’m not a fan of the president,” Flake said. “I hope that he’s not reelected next year. But I worry that this, in a very divided country, will divide it even further. So I’d rather defeat the president the old-fashioned way, at the ballot box.”
12:15 p.m.: Ukraine lawmakers seek new probes into allegations at ‘epicenter’ of U.S. political battles
Lawmakers in Ukraine are seeking to launch probes into some of the same allegations at the heart of the Trump administration’s dirt-digging efforts, including possibly reopening inquiries into the Ukrainian natural gas firm with connections to Hunter Biden.
The Ukraine push, however, could draw the country deeper into Washington’s whistleblower battles even as its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, tries to tread a careful path with one of its most important allies.
A separate probe by Ukraine also has the potential to add fuel to White House efforts to fire up President Trump’s base and lend legitimacy to his demands for Ukrainian prosecutors to look again at corruption allegations against Hunter Biden, despite no evidence of wrongdoing related to his work in Ukraine.
— Michael Birnbaum and David L. Stern
11:25 a.m.: Trump says all foreign leader calls are endangered
Trump returned to Twitter late Friday morning to argue that Democrats are jeopardizing all calls between U.S. presidents and foreign leaders.
“If that perfect phone call with the President of Ukraine Isn’t considered appropriate, then no future President can EVER again speak to another foreign leader!” he tweeted.
11:15 a.m.: House Intelligence Committee members plan to stay into recess
Members of the House Intelligence Committee said Friday that they plan to work during a scheduled two-week recess and left open the possibility that the panel would hold additional hearings.
“We’re expected to be here over the recess,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told reporters, adding: “There could very well be hearings.”
Speier said Democrats feel a sense of urgency about investigating Trump’s call with Zelensky.
“This is not something we can wait around [for] and contemplate our navels,” she said.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), another member of the committee, said he also plans to spend much of the recess in Washington.
“I canceled a bunch of stuff in my district to be here,” he said.
Schiff told multiple media outlets that he plans to move expeditiously to issue subpoenas of officials with knowledge of Trump’s call with Zelensky and to take depositions.
10:30 a.m.: Cruz compares Pelosi TV appearance to a ‘hostage video’
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) likened an MSNBC interview of Pelosi on Friday morning to a “hostage video,” suggesting that she remains opposed to an impeachment inquiry but is responding to liberal lawmakers in her caucus who are “filled with rage.”
“I think Nancy understands that impeachment is a train wreck for the Democrats,” Cruz asserted during an appearance on Fox News. “She has been trying to hold back the hordes. And you know, watching her, it almost reminded me of a hostage video. I think she was blinking SOS.”
During the MSNBC interview, Pelosi said she supported an impeachment inquiry after the facts of the Ukraine call came to light.
“The facts changed the situation, and they cannot be ignored,” she said.
As of midmorning Friday, 222 House Democrats and one independent member had voiced support for at least opening an inquiry into whether the president committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
10 a.m.: Oregon congressman accuses Trump of ‘treason’
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), speaking on the House floor Friday morning, accused Trump of “treason.”
DeFazio referred to remarks Trump made at a private event where the president said the whistleblower’s actions were akin to being a spy or committing treason.
“Let’s see: Russia has invaded the Ukraine, Ukraine is dependent upon the United States for military assistance to defend itself, Trump is withholding the aid, at the same time asking them for dirt on his political opponent,” DeFazio said. “He’s jeopardizing the national security interests of the United States. If anybody is committing treason — and I believe that’s an impeachable offense — it’s the president of the United States, Donald Trump.”
The lawmaker presiding over the House reminded DeFazio not to engage in personal attacks against the president in the House chamber.
A little later, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said DeFazio crossed the line and asked that the Democrat be reminded that “such violation won’t be tolerated in the future.”
9:45 a.m.: Trump speculates ‘a leaker or a spy’ fed information to whistleblower
Trump speculated on Twitter on Friday morning that the whistleblower might have received information from “a leaker or spy” or a “partisan operative.” He offered no evidence for his suggestions.
“Sounding more and more like the so-called Whistleblower isn’t a Whistleblower at all,” the president tweeted. “In addition, all second hand information that proved to be so inaccurate that there may not have even been somebody else, a leaker or spy, feeding it to him or her? A partisan operative?”
Earlier Friday, Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow claimed that the whistleblower complaint wasn’t written by the whistleblower.
“Look at the phraseology, the endnotes and the footnotes,” Sekulow said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends. “This wasn’t drafted by this individual. This was written by a law firm.”
9:30 a.m.: Trump returns to Twitter, calls Schiff a ‘sick man’
Trump fired off midmorning tweets, once again claiming his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect” and taking aim again at Schiff.
“IT WAS A PERFECT CONVERSATION WITH UKRAINE PRESIDENT!” Trump said in one tweet written in all capital letters.
Shortly afterward, he renewed his call from earlier Friday for Schiff to resign for what Trump contended was embellishing Trump’s conversation with Zelensky during remarks during a hearing Thursday hearing with acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.
“Rep. Adam B. Schiff totally made up my conversation with Ukraine President and read it to Congress and Millions,” Trump wrote. “He must resign and be investigated. He has been doing this for two years. He is a sick man!”
Following Thursday’s hearing, Schiff explained that his summary of Trump’s call “was meant to be at least part in parody.”
In his midmorning tweets, Trump also declared that, “The Democrats are now to be known as the DO NOTHING PARTY!”
9 a.m. Schiff responds to Trump’s call for his resignation
Schiff took to Twitter on Friday morning to respond to Trump’s call for him to resign for offering an embellished account of Trump’s phone conversation with Zelensky during Thursday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing.
“You engaged in a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country. And then you tried to cover it up,” Schiff tweeted. “But you’re right about one thing — your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves. But most importantly here, they endanger our country.”
Schiff said Thursday that his recounting of the Trump-Zelensky call was intended partly as parody, which Schiff said should have been obvious.
8:30 a.m.: New Yorker cover shows Trump and Giuliani killing Uncle Sam
The New Yorker revealed its cover art for next week’s magazine, which depicts Trump and his personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani as mobsters throwing Uncle Sam off a bridge to his death.
8 a.m.: Pelosi says she prays for Trump, asks that ‘God will illuminate him’
During a morning television appearance, Pelosi said she is praying for Trump and accused Barr of have “gone rogue” in his handling of the fallout from Trump’s call with Zelensky.
In the midst of a discussion about her decision to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump, Pelosi said: “I pray that God will illuminate him to see right from wrong. It’s very problematic.”
At other points during her appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Pelosi also accused Trump of “being disloyal to the oath of his office” and having used taxpayer dollars to “shake down” Zelensky.
Pelosi was referring to the fact that Trump had suspended military aid to Ukraine at the time of the phone conversation with Zelensky, in which he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens.
Trump has said repeatedly that there was “no quid pro quo.”
During the interview, Pelosi was also highly critical of Barr’s handling of the episode.
Barr’s Justice Department played a central role in holding up the disclosure of the whistleblower complaint to Congress.
As acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire testified Thursday, he consulted the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which overruled the inspector general’s determination that the complaint was of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that would have required disclosure to Congress within seven days.
“He’s gone rogue,” Pelosi said of Barr, adding: “I think where they’re going is a coverup of the coverup.”
“If by “going rogue” Speaker Pelosi means that the Department of Justice follows the law and long-established procedures, she is correct,” DOJ Spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.
7:45 a.m.: Trump calls on Schiff to ‘resign immediately’
Trump on Friday called on Schiff to “immediately resign” following Thursday’s hearing in which the House Intelligence Committee chairman offered an embellished account of Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Rep. Adam B. Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist,” Trump said in a tweet. “He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty.”
“HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT. Adam B. Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public,” Trump continued. “He has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!”
Schiff explained later in the hearing what he had done.
“My summary of the president’s call was meant to be at least part in parody,” he said. “The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself.”
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Pelosi said she was “so proud of Adam B. Schiff” for his handling of the hearing but did not allude to the episode in question.
7:15 a.m.: Trump takes swipes at the media in morning tweets
Trump took multiple swipes at the media in morning tweets, including complaining about punctuation used in a CNN report that mentioned a derogatory term he used for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).
“To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in describing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam B. Schiff,” Trump wrote on Twitter, misspelling describing. “Low ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!”
Trump in fact used an apostrophe, not a hyphen.
In another tweet, he took issue with a story by Peter Baker of the New York Times and declared that he “should not even be allowed to write about me.”
7 a.m.: White House spokesman decries those who gave information to whistleblower
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley denounced leaks coming from the White House, calling them “dangerous,” and questioned the motives of those who provided information to the whistleblower.
During an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” Gidley was asked about Trump’s remarks Thursday morning to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in which he dismissed the complaint against him from the intelligence community whistleblower and suggested that the person’s actions made him or her “close to a spy.”
“He was talking about the people who actually gave the information to the whistleblower,” Gidley claimed.
The whistleblower said the complaint was based on information from more than a half dozen U.S. officials.
Gidley noted that transcripts of previous Trump calls with the leaders of Australia and Mexico had also been leaked to the press.
“These leaks are dangerous,” he said, adding that he was not sure why they have happened.
“Do they just want to bolster their own careers or get invited to the cocktail parties here in D. C.?” he asked.
During the same interview, Gidley insisted that no one in the White House is concerned about the revelations in the whistleblower report.
“No one I’ve talked to is concerned at all about this because there is nothing there,” he said. “No one in the White House is concerned about this because the president has done nothing wrong.”
6:45 a.m.: Democrats rip Trump’s ‘threatening’ comments against whistleblower
Someone laughed loudly during the closed-door speech President Trump gave at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on Thursday. Other voices spoke in hushed murmurs.
Trump had just demanded to know who provided a whistleblower with information about his call with the Ukrainian president, describing that person as “close to a spy” and adding: “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now.”
Trump’s comments, which were included in leaked video obtained by The Washington Post and others, have sparked intense backlash, with top Democrats decrying his words as “threatening” and defending the whistleblower at the center of a new push for impeachment.
“He sounds like a criminal,” Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a presidential primary candidate, told MSNBC on Thursday night. “‘Who snitched? Who gave up the goods? Let’s find out who gave up the goods on us and make sure there’s a consequence and it’s serious, and let that be a lesson to everybody else.’”
6:30 a.m.: Nearly 300 former officials call Trump’s actions concerning Ukraine ‘profound national security concern’
Nearly 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials have signed a statement warning that Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine are a “profound national security concern” and supporting an impeachment inquiry by Congress to determine “the facts.”
“To be clear, we do not wish to prejudge the totality of the facts or Congress’ deliberative process,” said the statement, released Friday. “At the same time, there is no escaping that what we already know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings.”
The collection of signatures was set in motion by National Security Action, an organization founded and largely populated by officials from the Obama administration to call attention to Trump’s “reckless leadership.”
Many of the signers are former Obama officials. But the list includes others who served as career officials in both Democratic and Republican administrations, including Matthew Olsen, head of the Justice Department’s national security division under President George W. Bush and director of the National Counterterrorism Center under President Barack Obama.
6 a.m.: ‘Enough is enough with this guy,’ says Sen. Bernie Sanders
Echoing other Democratic White House hopefuls, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lambasted Trump during an appearance Thursday night on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” during which he also called the president a “spoiled brat.”
“He’s probably the most corrupt president in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said, prompting applause from the studio audience. “I think this Ukrainian business — using national security money designed to protect the people of America and use that as leverage to try to get dirt on a political opponent, and then trying to cover that up — this is an outrage on top of an outrage. And I think this is kind of taking millions of people to say, ‘You know what? Enough is enough with this guy. ’ ”
Sanders went on to say that he doesn’t think Trump “knows the difference between lying and truth-telling.”
“I doubt very much that he understands what the Constitution of the United States of America is about,” Sanders said. “I don’t think he understands that we have an emoluments clause which says you cannot enrich yourself when you’re president. I don’t know that he understands that. He grew up as a very rich kid. I think he’s a spoiled brat, and I think he thinks he can do anything that he wants to do.”