SPONSORED:

Trump rails against whistleblower, 'spy' within administration

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE on Wednesday said the country should find out the identity of the person who provided information to a whistleblower who raised concerns about his phone call with the Ukrainian president.

Trump railed against the whistleblower during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Finland, telling reporters that the individual portrayed his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a "vicious" way.

ADVERTISEMENT

"In other words, he either got it totally wrong, made it up, or the person giving the information to the whistleblower was dishonest," Trump said. "And this country has to find out who that person was, because that person's a spy, in my opinion."

Trump's attacks on the whistleblower come as members of both political parties have voiced support for upholding legal protections for the individual.

"I think a whistleblower should be protected if the whistleblower is legitimate," Trump said when asked about those comments from lawmakers.

Trump has gone on the offensive against the whistleblower, who anonymously filed a complaint with the intelligence community inspector general in August after they were concerned by Trump's conduct on a July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.

The whistleblower complaint, which was made public last week, matches with a rough White House transcript of the call. It alleges that Trump urged the Ukrainian president to look into Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE and that the White House sought to contain access to the contents of the call.

The complaint was based on firsthand information and information from other sources, the inspector general of the intelligence committee said this week.

During a conversation with U.S. diplomats last week, Trump reportedly suggested that those behind the whistleblower complaint should face severe punishment like spies did decades ago.

Trump has blasted the whistleblower as a partisan and questioned their loyalty to the country. He has claimed he has a right to interview the individual, even though protections exist to keep a whistleblower's identity anonymous.

The Whistleblower Protection Act makes it a violation for federal agencies to threaten retaliation against individuals who come forward to raise concerns of wrongdoing within the government.

"No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts," Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBarrett confirmation stokes Democrats' fears over ObamaCare On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes MORE (R-Iowa) said in a statement on Tuesday. "Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country."

Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellGOP lawmaker calls Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' Overnight Defense: Congress recommends nuclear arms treaty be extended | Dems warn Turkey | Military's eighth COVID death identified Bipartisan congressional task force recommends extending nuclear treaty with Russia MORE (R-Mich.), a member of House GOP leadership, said late Tuesday that the law protecting whistleblowers should be respected. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCIA impeachment whistleblower forced to live under surveillance due to threats: report In our 'Bizarro World' of 2020 politics, the left takes a wrong turn Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox MORE (D-Calif.) said at a press conference Wednesday morning that Trump's attacks on the whistleblower amounted to an "incitement of violence."