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

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire contradicted President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' 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 SchiffThe strange case of 'Dr. Trump' and 'Mr. Tweet' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump faces backlash for comparing impeachment to 'lynching' House Republican: Schiff 'should not be leading this whole inquiry' 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 BidenSupport for impeachment inches up in poll Overnight Defense: Trump's Syria envoy wasn't consulted on withdrawal | McConnell offers resolution urging Trump to rethink Syria | Diplomat says Ukraine aid was tied to political investigations Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment MORE and his son.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg would support delaying Libra | More attorneys general join Facebook probe | Defense chief recuses from 'war cloud' contract | Senate GOP blocks two election security bills | FTC brings case against 'stalking' app developer 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.