McConnell: Democrats trying to ‘politicize’ Trump whistleblower complaint

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knocked Democrats on Monday, accusing them of trying to “politicize” a whistleblower complaint reportedly involving President Trump’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. 

{mosads}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 Giuliani have attempted to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden 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 Graham (R-S.C.) has called for Trump to be transparent. 
McConnell added on Monday that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (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.

Tags Adam Schiff Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Joe Biden Lindsey Graham Mitch McConnell Richard Burr Rudy Giuliani

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