Trump’s Promise to Foreign Leader Subject of Whistleblower Complaint

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CN) – A new report Wednesday evening revealed that President Donald Trump is the subject of a whistleblower complaint the Trump administration is keeping from Congress regarding a phone conversation between the president and a foreign leader.

First reported by The Washington Post, the story cited two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter speaking on the condition of anonymity. The conversation included a troubling “promise” Trump made to the foreign leader, prompting an intelligence officer to file a complaint on Aug. 12.

It was not immediately clear what Trump had promised or which foreign leader he was speaking to, the Post reported. According to White House records, the president had interactions or conversations with five foreign leaders in the preceding five weeks before the complaint was filed, including a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 31.

The complaint was given to Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who determined it to be a matter of “urgent concern,” which would require sharing the complaint with congressional intelligence committees.

But Atkinson’s decision was overruled by acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire, according to a series of letters between Maguire and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., which Schiff made public. Maguire has since refused to hand over the complaint to Congress.

According to a letter by Maguire’s office sent to Schiff Tuesday, the complaint involves “stakeholders within the Executive Branch” rather than intelligence officials, making it less than an “urgent concern.”

“The IC IG determined that this complaint is both credible and urgent, and that it should be transmitted to Congress under the clear letter of the law. The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress,” Schiff said in a statement on Wednesday.

Atkinson is scheduled to appear for questioning before the House Intelligence Committee in closed session on Thursday, while Schiff announced Wednesday that Maguire had been scheduled to testify to the committee next week.

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