GOP lawmaker pushes back against Trump's attack on whistleblower

Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellEd Markey, John Rutherford among victors at charity pumpkin-carving contest Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash House Republicans voice concerns about White House's impeachment messaging MORE (R-Mich.), a member of House Republican leadership, pushed back against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE on Tuesday after the president tweeted criticism of the whistleblower at the center of the Ukraine probe.

“Whistleblowers are protected by law, even if we don't necessarily like what they say. We must respect that law,” the Michigan Republican tweeted at Trump.

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His comment came in response to a tweet from the president that questioned the credibility of the whistleblower and called for his identity to be revealed.

"So if the so-called ‘Whistleblower’ has all second hand information, and almost everything he has said about my ‘perfect’ call with the Ukrainian President is wrong (much to the embarrassment of Pelosi & Schiff), why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him," Trump said in a series of tweets. "This is simply about a phone conversation that could not have been nicer, warmer, or better. No pressure at all (as confirmed by  Ukrainian Pres.). It is just another Democrat Hoax!" 

Mitchell, who is not seeking reelection in 2020, made the remark as House Democrats are planning to have the whistleblower testify as part of their investigation. Democratic lawmakers have voiced concerns that the president’s recent attacks on the whistleblower constitute witness intimidation and place the whistleblower’s safety in jeopardy.

GOP Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union McConnell, GOP leaders say they won't be watching House impeachment hearing Poll: 1 in 5 US adults report trouble affording prescription drugs MORE (Iowa) has also come out in defense of whistleblower protections.

"This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected. We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality," Grassley, who chairs the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, said in a statement.

"No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts. Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country," he added.

Mitchell announced over the summer that he wouldn't seek reelection, citing the partisan infighting and "vitriol" of the current political climate.