Trump urges media to report whistleblower's name

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE on Sunday said the media should name the whistleblower behind a complaint about his dealings with Ukraine and that such reporting would be "doing the public a service."

"The whistleblower gave a very inaccurate report about my phone call. My phone call was perfecto. It was totally appropriate. He gave a report — he or she, but according to the newspapers it's a he," Trump told reporters.  

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"They know who it is. You know who it is. You just don't want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don't want to report it. And you know, you would be doing the public a service if you did," he added. 

The whistleblower's identity is not public. Trump did not give evidence for his claim that CNN or newspapers know the person's identity. 

"The fixation on exposing the whistleblower’s identity is simply because they’re at a loss as to how to address the investigations the underlying disclosure prompted," Andrew Bakaj, an attorney representing the whistleblower, told The Hill in a statement in response to Trump's remarks. 

The whistleblower's complaint set off a series of events that led to a House impeachment inquiry into the president. The probe is centered on a call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE

The whistleblower's identity has not been reported publicly, although The New York Times reported some details on the person in September. 

The whistleblower's lawyers have argued for keeping their client's identity a secret. 

"Much of what has been disclosed since the release of our client’s complaint actually exceeds the whistleblower’s knowledge of what transpired at the time the complaint was submitted," Bakaj and fellow attorney Mark Zaid wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last month. 

"Because our client has no additional information about the president’s call, there is no justification for exposing their identity and all the risks that would follow," they added.