Warner Expresses Concern About Whistleblower Safety After Trump Tweets

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 17: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on June 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. Warner participated in a discussio... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 17: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on June 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. Warner participated in a discussion on China's strategy to control technologies of the future, including artificial intelligence and 5G. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Following a tumultuous weekend of tweets and right-wing media reports on the identity of the anonymous whistleblower, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) expressed grave concern about the safety of the individual who came forward with complaints about President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president.

“This program has allowed folks to come forward in a protected way when they’ve seen abuse. And this president’s failure to honor that, to recognize that the whistleblower deserves protections and what the chilling effect it would have on our whole intelligence community, which more than any other area, needs to have the ability to not be politicized, to speak truth to power and if they say something, if they see something,” Warner said.

When asked if he’s concerned about the whistleblower’s safety, Warner didn’t mince words: “Any rational person would be concerned about the whistleblower’s safety after the President’s comments, which led some press outlets on the right, who were actually offering a bounty on trying to reveal the whistleblower’s identity.”

Just this weekend, it was reported that the attorney for the whistleblower reached out to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire over fear for the client’s safety. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted demanding to know the identity of the whistleblower and threatened “Big Consequences!” for whoever gave him or her information about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, now the center of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

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