Trump suggests he regrets signing bill to protect whistleblowers
Trump appears down on whistleblowers after a whistleblower complaint led to the impeachment inquiry that threatens his presidency.
Donald Trump on Monday suggested he regretted signing the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act — a bill that protects whistleblowers in the Department of Veterans Affairs who report employees for misconduct or poor performance.
His comment came in a retweet of the official White House Twitter account, which was listing ways is says Trump has benefitted veterans to celebrate Veterans Day. The list included Trump’s signing the whistleblower protection act.
“To think I signed the Whistleblower Protection Act!” Trump tweeted in response — suggesting he regrets the decision.
Trump may be down on whistleblowers after a whistleblower complaint exposed his request that Ukraine investigate his political rivals.
However, Trump has touted his signing of this same act in the past, claiming it would help stop the long waits for veterans who need health care.
In September, Trump brought up the importance of the law during a speech at a House Republican retreat.
“Together, we enacted the VA Accountability Act, so that anyone who mistreats or abuses our great veterans can be promptly fired,” Trump said on Sept. 12. “There was a time you couldn’t fire anyone, no matter how they treated our veterans, whether they stole or they were sadists. And we had some of them, too. You couldn’t fire them, and now we can do it very, very quickly and easily.”
Of course, Trump’s claims are false: Federal employees could be fired before Trump signed this act into law. Not to mention, recent reports show that whistleblowers at the VA are actually being retaliated against, rather than protected.
Fourteen days after that speech in which he touted protecting VA whistleblowers, news broke that a whistleblower was sounding the alarm about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine — kicking off the impeachment inquiry that now threatens his presidency.
Since then, Trump has railed against the whistleblower, falsely saying the whistleblower’s complaint is unsubstantiated.
And Trump’s been calling on Republicans to out the name of the whistleblower, risking the person’s safety.
Republicans, for their part, have been backing Trump up, saying Trump’s quest to out the whistleblower is “responsible” and demanding the media report the name of the whistleblower. House Republicans also attempted to out the whistleblower in private depositions, and have called for the whistleblower to testify in the upcoming public impeachment hearings — a request that will be blocked by Democrats, who vow to protect the whistleblower.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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