Warner: GOP Needs to ‘Push Back’ on Trump’s Whistleblower Threats

Speaking with CNN’s senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on Monday called for Republican lawmakers to “push back” on President Donald Trump’s attacks on the whistleblower.

Last week Trump said, “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

Warner said, “We’ve had a lot of questions about what the president did or didn’t do with the Ukrainian president but one area where we don’t have more information to seek out is calling out the president’s outrageous comments, both last Thursday when he called the whistleblower and anyone else that he or she may have talked to, traitorous and like a spy, where he implied there should be physical harm to the whistleblower. When that kind of commentary was reinforced by his tweets over the weekend, even my Republican colleagues who may not want to weigh in on the substance of the complaint need to stand up and push back on this president’s outrageous behavior about protecting the whistleblower program. Because for 40 years this program has allowed folks to come forward in a protected way when they’ve seen abuse. And this president’s failure to honor that, to recognize that the whistleblower deserves protections and what the chilling effect it would have on our whole intelligence community, which more than any other area, needs to have the ability to not be politicized, to speak close to power, and if they see something, say something.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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