Washington: President Donald Trump retweeted on Friday night, and deleted by morning, a social media post that named the alleged whistle-blower whose complaint triggered the congressional inquiry that resulted in his impeachment this month.
The posting, made shortly before midnight, identified a person it said was the whistle-blower. That person first alerted members of Congress to Trump’s conduct in his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a nine-page memorandum.
The tweet was from an account dubbed “Sophia,” or @Surfermom77, who describes herself as living in California and a “100% Trump supporter.” By Saturday afternoon that account, which posts a variety of pro-Trump and anti-Democratic material, had been “temporarily restricted” by the site. Screen shots of the deleted tweet continued to circulate on Twitter.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who has 68 million followers on Twitter, has posted about the whistle-blower multiple times over the months and suggested in comments to reporters that he would like to unmask or face the individual.
“Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser,” Trump tweeted in September.
Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called “Whistleblower,” represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way. Then Schiff made up what I actually said by lying to Congress……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 29, 2019
On Thursday Trump also retweeted a link to a Dec. 3 article from the conservative Washington Examiner newspaper that carried the name of the alleged whistleblower. That posting hasn’t been removed.
Attorney Andrew Bakaj, who represents the whistle-blower, lamented in a tweet on Saturday that U.S. lawmakers who in the past have championed the rights of whistle-blowers, including Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, have shown “deafening” silence recently.
“This is a defining moment where legacies will either be solidified or destroyed,” Bakaj said on Twitter.
The Washington Post and CNN initially reported that Trump deleted the tweet with the whistle-blower’s identity.
Trump late Friday shared on Twitter a photograph showing a sign reading “Bernie 2020” and promising “free sh_t,” along with an image of what appeared to be dog feces. That tweet also was removed and the original account had been suspended as of Saturday. – Bloomberg
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