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Maguire contradicts Trump: I think the whistleblower did the 'right thing'

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire contradicted President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE on Thursday, telling Congress that he believes the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump's interactions with Ukrainian officials did the "right thing" in a "unique and unprecedented" case.

"I think the whistleblower did the right thing," Maguire said to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn Trump pardons Michael Flynn MORE (D-Calif.) during public testimony, adding that they followed the whistleblower statute every step of the way.

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Maguire also expressed his support of the whistleblower, deeming the complaint "credible" and "important" while stating that he does not know the identity of the individual.

Trump has claimed that the whistleblower was a "political hack job."

“I believe this case is unique and unprecedented,” Maguire said on Thursday.

He also defended his decision not to share the complaint with the committee, noting that after consulting the Justice Department, it was determined that the conversation between Trump and another foreign leader was protected by executive privilege.

"Authority I do not have the privilege to waive," he added.

Democrats have blasted Maguire for withholding the complaint, which intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined was both credible and an urgent concern.

Maguire's high-stakes testimony came roughly 30 minutes after the Intelligence panel released a minimally redacted version of the whistleblower complaint. In nine pages, it details concerns a whistleblower raised about Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE and his son.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday that Democrats are formally launching an impeachment inquiry after a new wave of House Democrats came out in favor of the process in the wake of the allegations.

— This report was updated at 10:54 a.m.