President Donald Trump has attacked the whistle-blower who filed a complaint over his controversial phone conversation with the president of Ukraine in July.
Speaking at a closed-door gathering with US diplomats in New York, Mr. Trump called the whistle-blower “partisan”. “We’re at war. … These people are sick. They’re sick,” he said.
IN the fifteen-minute video recording obtained by Bloomberg News, he also demanded to know who gave information to the whistleblower, saying the source was “close to a spy”.
Mr. Trump then added what appeared to be a thinly veiled threat: “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
Meanwhile, US media have reported that the whistle-blower whose complaint led to an impeachment inquiry against the president is a CIA officer.
The unnamed officer once worked at the White House, several US outlets said.
The whistleblower says senior White House officials tried to “lock down” all details of the July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In the call, Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Zelensky to investigate his leading Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.
The complaint, released on Thursday, says the call transcript was not stored in the usual computer system. Instead it was stored in a separate system used for classified information.
Democrats accuse President Trump of seeking foreign help in the hope of smearing Mr Biden – who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election – and of using military aid to Ukraine as a bargaining tool.