CNN’s “New Day” hosts took aim at Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for urging the media to publish the name of the whistleblower who prompted the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
How we got here: During President Trump’s rally in Lexington, Kentucky on Monday, held in support of Gov. Matt Bevin (R) for Tuesday’s gubernatorial election, Paul called on the press to “do your job and print his name,” referring to the whistleblower whose complaint alleged that the president pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son.
“The whistleblower needs to come before Congress as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs,” he added.
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President Trump, over the weekend, suggested that the media knows the name of the whistleblower. “They know who it is. You know who it is. You just don’t want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don’t want to report. You know, you’d be doing the public a service if you did,” he said.
CNN’s comments: Host Alisyn Camerota accused Paul of attempting to force the media into “doing his dirty work,” and claimed that revealing the whistleblower’s identity is against the law. John Berman called him a “small man.”
“He’s trying to get us to do his dirty work and say the name of the whistleblower, which is illegal. If he knows the name, if he thinks he knows the background, I mean, he’s giving all this information that is not proven. There’s no evidence of anything he’s saying. If he knows it, why doesn’t he say it? I’ll tell you why he doesn’t say it. Don’t answer that. Because it’s illegal, and he knows that,” Camerota said.
“He’s a small man. I have to tell you, what he just did there was small and cowardly right there. If he’s got something to say, if he wants to break the law, do it, but to sit there on that stage and say, ‘Oh, others should do it right now. I’m not going to say it, I’m not going to say it, others should do my work for me.’ That’s small,” Berman noted.
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Worth noting: Paul’s comments drew loud cheers from the crowd but not everyone agrees that the whistleblower’s identity needs to be made public, including some Republicans.
“Whistleblowers are entitled to protection under the law … To try to reveal the identity of this individual is contrary to the intent of the whistleblower law,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told The Hill.
“That’s not my view,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said of Paul’s comments. “But it’s also not my view that the whistleblower should be able to answer questions in an anonymous way, and I think the whistleblower should come to the Senate Intelligence Committee.”
The whistleblower’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, told the Washington Post that “a member of Congress who calls for the identity of any lawful whistleblower to be publicly revealed against their wishes disgraces the office they hold and betrays the interests of the Constitution and the American people.”
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