President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump 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.
"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 BidenBiden says he didn't 'overpromise' Finland PM pledges 'extremely tough' sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine Russia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable 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.