President Trump on Thursday was caught on tape saying the Ukraine whistleblower’s source is “close to a spy” and recommended that they need to be punished “like in the old days.”
“Mainly, that person never noticed the report, never noticed the call, and he never noticed the decision,” Trump informed a private gathering of US officials in Manhattan, according to audio obtained by The Los Angeles Times.
He was referring to his July 25 phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which they discussed Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
“Heard something and decided that she or he, whoever the hell it’s, they’re almost a spy. I need to know who the one that gave the whistleblower, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information is? Because that’s close to a spy,” Trump continued.
“You realize what we used to do within the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to deal with it a bit differently than we do now,” the president stated, as laughter could be heard in the background.
Within the call, according to a summary released by the White House, Trump requested Zelensky to reopen a probe into the Bidens.
The whistleblower said he hadn’t listened in on the conversation, however, was given a readout and informed about it by other White House officials, who had been involved that the president was using the power of his office to persuade a foreign leader to dig for dirt on a political opponent.
The revelation sparked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch an impeachment inquiry.