President Donald Trump shared an article with his nearly 70 million followers that named the alleged Ukraine whistleblower on Thursday.
Trump retweeted a post published by his reelection campaign in response to the whistleblower’s attorney calling for Republican Tennesee Sen. Marsha Blackburn to be removed from the Senate Whistleblower Caucus for claiming earlier this year that “Vindictive Vindman is the ‘whistleblower’s’ handler,” referring to National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
“It's pretty simple. The CIA ‘whistleblower’ is not a real whistleblower!” the tweet said, linking to a Washington Examiner article that named the alleged whistleblower.
Ivanka pleads with Trump not to say the name:
The tweet came days after The Daily Beast reported that Ivanka Trump and White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned Trump against publicly saying the name.
Trump has known the name since August, according to the report, and “has gossiped on numerous occasions about this individual’s biography and alleged political biases with confidants, friends, lawyers, administration officials, family, and cable-news personalities.”
Many close to the president are “genuinely surprised” he hasn’t already named the whistleblower.
Ivanka and Cipolline have explicitly told the president that it would be unwise for him to publicly say the name.
“It is not a matter of if but when he will say it,” a senior administration official told The Daily Beast. "It’s my sense he is waiting for more cover from others before he does.”
Whistleblower attorneys say outing is illegal:
Lawyers Eric Havian and Michael Roenickher, who have represented numerous whistleblowers, wrote in a USA Today editorial that outing the whistleblower is illegal.
"The most vocal Trump defenders in Congress have fallen into lockstep, excoriating Democrats for maintaining the whistleblower's anonymity while in almost every case carefully avoiding disclosure themselves,” they wrote. "The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act makes it unlawful to take any 'action constituting reprisal' against whistleblowers who follow the proper procedures to report national security concerns, as the whistleblower did here. The law is clear that 'outing' a whistleblower can indeed constitute retaliation and reprisal."