FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump walks to address the media before boarding Marine One for a trip to New Mexico, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger.
(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters that a whistleblower complaint that has roiled Washington relates to a “totally appropriate conversation” he had.
Trump, speaking in the Oval Office, said that he did not know the identity of the whistleblower or the precise allegations but that all of his conversations with foreign leaders were “above board.”
The Trump administration is in a standoff with leaders of the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives over the Aug. 12 complaint from an unknown whistleblower within the intelligence community, which reportedly involves Trump’s communications with a foreign leader.
An intelligence community watchdog determined that the complaint was credible, related to an urgent matter, and should be shared with congressional leaders through a process laid out by U.S. law.
That determination was overridden by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire after consulting with the Justice Department.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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