Speed Reads

whistle: blown

Trump officials moved to 'lock down' records of phone call with Ukraine, whistleblower says

White House officials sure acted like President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was a big problem.

That's according to an intelligence community whistleblower, whose report was released by the White House on Thursday morning. In fact, "in the days following the phone call," senior White House officials "intervened to 'lock down' all records of the phone call" in a pretty unusual way, the whistleblower writes.

A memorandum of the phone call released Wednesday detailed how Trump pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden and the 2016 DNC email hack. Trump and his allies have since tried to claim the call was not a big deal, but as the whistleblower details, that wasn't always the case.

"White House officials told me that they were 'directed' by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript" of the call "from the computer system" where they're typically stored, the complaint alleges. "Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system" that is typically used for "classified information of an especially sensitive nature," the complaint continues. That "underscored" to the whistleblower that officials "understood the gravity of what transpired in the call," with one official even calling it an "abuse of the electronic system because this call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective," per the complaint.

Find the whole complaint here.