McConnell: Democrats trying to 'politicize' Trump whistleblower complaint

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell to try to pass small business funds Thursday, warns against holding it 'hostage' Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans MORE (R-Ky.) knocked Democrats on Monday, accusing them of trying to "politicize" a whistleblower complaint reportedly involving President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE's phone calls with Ukraine's leader. 
 
"I believe it's extremely important that their work be handled in a secure setting with adequate protections in a bipartisan fashion — and based on facts rather than leaks to the press. It's regrettable that House Intelligence [Committee] Chairman [Adam] Schiff [D-Calif.] and Sen. [Charles] Schumer [D-N.Y.] have chosen to politicize this issue," McConnell said from the Senate floor on Monday. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
His comments came after Schumer, the Senate minority leader, sent McConnell a letter earlier Monday demanding that Republicans hold a hearing on the whistleblower complaint and issue a subpoena to force the administration to turn the complaint over to Congress. 
 
The back-and-forth comes amid reports that both Trump and his attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump: Tough times but progress being made Giuliani touts experimental coronavirus treatment in private conversations with Trump Trump team picks fight with Twitter, TV networks over political speech MORE have attempted to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders exits, clearing Biden's path to nomination Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report Sanders exit leaves deep disappointment on left MORE or his son.
 
Trump appeared to acknowledge on Sunday that he had discussed Biden on the call with Zelensky. But he said on Monday that he did not threaten to withhold aid to Ukraine unless they investigated the Biden family.
 
"I did not make a statement that you have to do this or I’m not going to give you aid," Trump told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee received a briefing last week from the intelligence community's inspector general but did not receive information about the contents of the whistleblower complaint. 
 
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to provide the information to the committee or comply with Schiff's request that he hand over the complaint. 
 
Senate Republicans have largely been mum about the whistleblower complaint, though Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump attacks WHO amid criticism of his coronavirus response Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill UN biodiversity chief calls for international ban of 'wet markets' MORE (R-S.C.) has called for Trump to be transparent. 
 
McConnell added on Monday that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic COVID-19 and the coming corruption pandemic Burr says intelligence watchdog should be 'independent' after inspector general firing MORE (R-N.C.) has been trying to set up a briefing for the committee on the whistleblower complaint. 

"I've been disappointed to see our colleague, the Democratic leader, choose to politicize the committee's ongoing efforts with respect to a recent whistleblower allegations," he said. 
 
A GOP aide confirmed that they are trying to set up a briefing for the committee this week with the intelligence community's inspector general and Maguire.