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NYT: Trump Was Briefed on Whistleblower Complaint Before Releasing Ukraine Military Aid

A new report tonight says that before the hold on Ukraine military aid was lifted, President Donald Trump had been briefed on the whistleblower complaint.

According to the New York Times, the President heard from White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy John Eisenberg about the complaint:

Lawyers from the White House counsel’s office told Mr. Trump in late August about the complaint, explaining that they were trying to determine whether they were legally required to give it to Congress, the people said…

Mr. Trump faced bipartisan pressure from Congress when he released the aid. But the new timing detail shows that he was also aware at the time that the whistle-blower had accused him of wrongdoing in withholding the aid and in his broader campaign to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to conduct investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election chances.

“It is unclear how much detail the lawyers provided Mr. Trump about the complaint,” the report notes. “The New York Times reported in September that White House advisers — namely, Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Eisenberg — knew about the whistle-blower complaint in August. But the specifics of when and how Mr. Trump learned of it have not previously been reported.”

Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified last week — subsequently touted by the president himself — that in his September 9th call with POTUS, “He said I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo, I just want Zelensky to do the right thing, to do what he ran on or – or words to that effect.”

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac