- In an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning, President Donald Trump claimed to know the identity of the official whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.
- “I know exactly who it is,” the president said, describing the official as a “political operative.”
- The hosts stressed that they did not know the identity of the whistleblower, whose identity is shielded under federal laws.
- “You don’t need verification,” Trump replied. “You know exactly who it is.”
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In a lengthy and rambling interview on “Fox & Friends” on Friday, President Donald Trump accused the hosts of lying when they said they didn’t know the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower.
“I want to see Adam Schiff testify about the whistleblower, who’s a fake whistleblower,” Trump said.
“I know exactly who it is,” the president added, describing the official as a “political operative.”
Steve Doocy said that he and his cohosts, Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt, did not know the whistleblower’s name.
“You said we know the name of the whistleblower. We’ve seen names on the internet; we have no idea who the whistleblower is,” Doocy said.
“No, I don’t believe,” Trump replied.
The president went on to accuse the hosts of lying as he sought to pressure them to concede they knew the name of the whistleblower.
“I don’t think Steve has ever told a lie, Ainsley and Brian, in his life, but that one I’m sort of thinking, come on,” Trump said.
Doocy repeated the assertion that the hosts had seen names online but didn’t have verification about the whistleblower’s identity.
“You don’t need verification. You know exactly who it is,” Trump said.
In recent weeks, conservative activists and media outlets have published the name of an official they claim is the whistleblower, though federal laws are designed to ensure the anonymity of whistleblowers.
Attorneys for the whistleblower have said that exposing their identity would put their life at risk.
The president has described the official as a partisan operative and called on news outlets to name them but has so far backed away from doing so himself.
Fox News has barred employees from using the alleged name of the whistleblower on air.
Business Insider has been unable to verify the identity of the whistleblower so is not publishing the name of the official alleged to be that person.
In the interview, Trump also called the impeachment inquiry a partisan plot and said that the results of an investigation into the origins of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe would be “historic.”
When discussing the unfounded allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Trump said, in an apparent slip of the tongue, “I do want, always, corruption.”
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