Ernst Stands United With Fellow Iowan Grassley In Defending Whistleblowers

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) speaks during a news conference following a weekly policy luncheon on April 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
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October 3, 2019 5:58 p.m.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) agrees with Senate Finance Committee chair and fellow Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley: whistleblowers should be protected.

During a town hall Thursday in Templeton, Iowa, Ernst was asked by an attendee whether President Donald Trump should be threatening whistleblowers or encouraging other countries to investigate his political rivals.

Ernst responded that “corruption, no matter where it is, should be ferreted out.”

The Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, top House Democrats and even Fox News personalities have slammed Trump this week for his attempts to discredit the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump’s July call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky involving efforts to drum up bogus allegations against Joe and Hunter Biden.

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Although Ernst said that she hasn’t met Zelensky, she went on to speak of her experience discussing corruption with former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.

“What I spoke to him about is the fact that there is still a large amount of corruption in Ukraine and they have tried to deal with that corruption,” Ernst said. “They need to continue dealing with corruption. I don’t care where it is, I don’t care who it is, when it is. Corruption is corruption and it should be combatted.”

When the same attendee pressed the Iowa senator on whether it’s OK for Trump to attempt to extort other countries, Ernst abruptly cut her off.

“We’re going to move on to another question, but what I would say is that we cannot determine that yet,” Ernst said. “We have information that will be presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee and they will call in the witnesses as necessary and be done in a bipartisan matter, in a fair process and they will evaluate that.”

Watch Ernst’s remarks below:

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