President Donald Trump called into Fox News’ Fox & Friends on Friday in an interview that lasted nearly an hour, and at one point, the president accused the Fox News hosts of lying about whether they knew the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower.
The identity of the whistleblower has been a point of contention for Republicans amid the ongoing impeachment inquiry, which was sparked when the whistleblower first filed a complaint about the president’s July call with the Ukrainian president in August. Republicans, and in particular the president, have repeatedly called for the identity of the whistleblower to be unmasked.
In the interview Friday morning, the president insisted that he knew the identity of the whistleblower and that they were a “political operative.”
Per Business Insider, the show’s hosts – Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and, Ainsley Earhardt – told the president that they did not know the identity of the whistleblower. He didn’t believe them.
“You said we know the name of the whistleblower, but we have no idea,” Doocy said.
“I don’t believe you,” Trump responded.
“OK,” Kilmeade said.
Doocy said that they had seen names of potential identities of the whistleblower online, but said that they had no verification over whether those reports were accurate.
“You don’t need verification. You know exactly who it is,” the president shot back.
Then, in more aggressively calling out the hosts, the president remarked that he believed Doocy had never lied before but implied that Doocy was lying in this instance.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the supposed identity of the whistleblower was posted by right-wing news website Breitbart News earlier this month. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., shared the article on his Twitter page in an act that drew swift condemnation online. Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said the whistleblower will not publicly testify in the impeachment inquiry because he thinks it is unnecessary due to other first-hand witnesses who have confirmed much of what their second-hand complaint mentioned.
Schiff, a frequent target of the president and other Republicans, has also said he plans to keep the identity of the whistleblower a secret due to the president’s repeated attacks and attempts to undermine their credibility.
As Business Insider noted, lawyers for the whistleblower have said that revealing their identity could put their life at risk. Federal laws exist to ensure that the identity of whistleblowers can remain anonymous. The whistleblower has agreed to answer Republican questions in written form under oath.
While the president has seemed to favor right-leaning Fox News over other cable networks – CNN and MSNBC in particular – he has more recently taken issue with some of the network’s coverage and polling.