The Latest: Trump administration blocks whistleblower report

AP

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  • House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks to reporters after the panel met behind closed doors with national intelligence inspector general Michael Atkinson about a whistleblower complaint, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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    Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters about a whistleblower complaint Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff says he cannot confirm a press report that said a whistleblower’s complaint concerned a promise President Donald Trump made on a phone call to a foreign leader. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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    President Donald Trump talks about a plan to ban most flavored e-cigarettes, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks to reporters after the panel met behind closed doors with national intelligence inspector general Michael Atkinson about a whistleblower complaint, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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    Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters about a whistleblower complaint Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff says he cannot confirm a press report that said a whistleblower’s complaint concerned a promise President Donald Trump made on a phone call to a foreign leader. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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    President Donald Trump talks about a plan to ban most flavored e-cigarettes, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a reported whistleblower allegation that President Donald Trump made an unspecified "promise" to a foreign leader (all times local):

7:05 p.m.

The Trump administration has plunged into a showdown with Congress over access to a whistleblower's reported complaint about incidents including a private conversation between President Donald Trump and a foreign leader.

The government's intelligence watchdog says the blocked complaint is "serious" and "urgent."

The administration is keeping Congress from even learning what exactly the whistleblower is alleging, but the intelligence community's inspector general says the matter involves the "most significant" responsibilities of intelligence leadership. One report said it involved a promise Trump made in a phone call to a foreign leader. A lawmaker said the complaint was "based on a series of events."

The inspector general appeared before the House intelligence committee behind closed doors Thursday but declined, under administration orders, to reveal the substance of the complaint.

___

1:25 p.m.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee says he cannot confirm a press report that said a whistleblower's complaint concerned a promise President Donald Trump made on a phone call to a foreign leader.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California said Thursday the acting director of national intelligence is withholding the complaint from Congress in an unprecedented departure from the law.

Schiff said, "There is an effort to prevent this information from getting to Congress."

He said he believes the whistleblower's complaint "likely involves the president or people around him."

The intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, appeared behind closed doors Thursday but declined to tell the panel the substance of the complaint.

The Washington Post reported it involved a promise Trump made to an unnamed foreign leader.

___

8:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he would never say anything "inappropriate" on a call with a foreign leader.

Trump's tweeted statement Thursday comes as lawmakers look to scrutinize the handling of an intelligence whistleblower complaint that The Washington Post reported stemmed from a call Trump conducted with an unspecified foreign leader. The Post said Trump made an unspecified "promise" to the leader.

The Associated Press has not confirmed the report.

Trump says that he understands that many people listen to those calls, adding "is anybody dumb enough to believe" that he would speak inappropriately under those circumstances.

He adds that "I would only do what is right anyway."

___

8:50 a.m.

The government's intelligence watchdog is set to testify in a closed session before the House intelligence committee about the handling of a whistleblower complaint.

The Washington Post reported Thursday the complaint involves an intelligence official's allegation that President Donald Trump made an unspecified "promise" to an unidentified foreign leader. The Post cited two anonymous former U.S. officials.

The Associated Press has not confirmed the report.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says inspector general Michael Atkinson determined the whistleblower complaint was "credible and urgent" and should be "transmitted to Congress."

Atkinson is scheduled to testify Thursday.

The White House had no immediate comment.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to discuss details. He's expected to testify publicly about the whistleblower complaint Sept. 26.

 

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