The intelligence community whistleblower was tipped off by a White House official who described President Donald Trump‘s July 25 phone call with Ukraine as “crazy” and “frightening.”
According to ABC News, the whistleblower’s White House source was “visibly shaken” after President Trump allegedly solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election by requesting a political favor from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, namely an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The whistleblower apparently learned of the call just after it happened and committed their concerns to writing in the form of notes a day later–which the report also refers to as a “two page memo”–based on their discussion with the White House official.
This memo–based on a brief conversation between the intelligence community whistleblower and an allegedly concerned White House aide–was eventually turned over to the intelligence community inspector general and, “suggests that at least one aide to the president feared that Trump’s own words in the call were damning,” according to ABC.
Describing “highlights” from the Ukraine call, the memo reads:
The President urged Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens and stated that [Trump’s personal attorney Rudy] Giuliani would discuss this topic further with Zelenskiy during his trip to Kyiv.
The memo also describes the White House aide’s immediate reaction:
The official, who listened to the entirety of the phone call, was visibly shaken by what had transpired and seemed keen to inform a trusted colleague within the U.S. national security apparatus about the call.
That official “described the call as ‘crazy, ‘frightening,’ and completely lacking in substance related to national security,” the whistleblower claims.
“I…returned to my office, and wrote up my best recollection of what I had heard,” the memo continues.
The still-unnamed intelligence community member also explains how they did not personally review the White House’s own notes on the phone call or the official White House memorandum of the phone call–erroneously referred to as a “transcript” by many media outlets–but says “the official informed me they exist.”
The day-after memo also claims their White House source said that Trump asked the Ukrainian president about the “Crowdstrike server,” evidence that President Trump believes in a long-discredited right-wing conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton‘s missing emails.
The White House aide also told the whistleblower that Trump referenced the Ukrainian hydrocarbon company Burisma Holdings–the business entity which retained the services of the former vice president’s son, Hunter Biden.
The source also shared a bit more:
Importantly, the whistleblower also documented suspicions from the White House official that notes or transcripts from the call were being protected in an unusual manner. ABC News has reported that the White House changed its practice of storing phone call transcripts with foreign leaders to avoid leaked by keeping them in secure servers with restricted access. It was unclear if those conversations, however, were being protected for reasons of national security or for political reasons
[image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]