US president Donald Trump retweeted the name of the alleged Ukraine whistleblower
- Donald Trump retweeted a post that names the alleged whistleblower who sparked the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
- Trump retweeted a post late on Friday from user @surfermom77 that named the whistleblower, exposing the person's name to his 68 million followers on Twitter.
- Saturday reports suggested that Trump had deleted the tweet but the brief disappearance of the post was actually down to a Twitter bug. It is now visible again.
- Trump's associates, conservative media, and the president's supporters have been trying to push the alleged whistleblower's name in public for more than a month.
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Donald Trump has retweeted a post that names the alleged Ukraine whistleblower who triggered the ongoing impeachment enquiry.
Late on Friday, Trump shared a post from Twitter user @surfermom77 which names the alleged whistleblower.
Trump's camp has been trying to push the name in public for months, in an apparent attempt to discredit and attack the whistleblower.
The whistleblower's identity has not been verified, and little is known about them other than the fact they are a member of the intelligence community.
The person lodged a complaint in August containing a series of allegations, including a claim that White House officials had been "deeply disturbed" by a phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, during which Trump pressured his counterpart to open an investigation into former Vice President and election rival Joe Biden.
The complaint alleged that the White House had subsequently engaged in a cover-up. You can read the full details of the complaint and a timeline here.
The US has laws protecting federal employees who disclose wrongdoing by the government. Experts told NPR that naming the whistleblower might not actually constitute a crime.
Reports on Saturday suggested that Trump deleted his retweet, since it was no longer visible to some Twitter users.
But Twitter clarified earlier on Saturday that the site had experienced an outage that meant certain tweets were visible to some users and not to others.
In other words, Trump did not delete his retweet and the alleged whistleblower's name is still visible to anyone scrolling through his feed.
Due to an outage with one of our systems, tweets on account profiles were visible to some, but not others. We're still working on fixing this and apologize for any confusion.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 29, 2019
Twitter confirmed the outage had briefly affected Trump's profile, and said the president's retweet didn't violate its policies.
The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump last week, and the Senate will hold a trial for both sides to present their cases. That's likely to happen in 2020, and it's expected that the Senate will acquit Trump.
Trump's response to the impeachment enquiry has been to demand that the whistleblower be unmasked.
In October, he wrote on Twitter: "Where is the Whistleblower, and why did he or she write such a fictitious and incorrect account of my phone call with the Ukrainian President? ... A giant Scam!"
Donald Trump Jr. also posted the alleged name in October, prompting criticism from the actual whistleblower's legal representatives, who described his actions as "disgusting and reckless."
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