Johnson says whistleblower complaint will make foreign relations tough for future presidents
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says he believes whistleblowers deserve protection against retaliation.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Sunday the whistleblower’s complaint about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president is going to make it difficult for future presidents to have private conversations with fellow world leaders.
"You know it's going to be very difficult for future presidents to have a candid conversation with a world leader because now we’ve set the precedent of leaking transcripts, the weakening of executive privilege is not good," Johnson said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Johnson added: "If the whistleblower's goal is to improve President Trump's relationship with Ukraine he utterly failed.”
Johnson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also dismissed the allegations at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry that Trump made a military aid package to Ukraine contingent on Kiev publicly investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in the eastern European nation.
Democrats argue that there is evidence of “quid pro quo” during the phone call and that Trump made the release of military aid to Ukraine contingent on Kiev investigating Biden – one of the president’s main 2020 political challengers – and his son. Hunter Biden was on the board of Ukrainian natural gas firm, Burisma Holdings, which in 2015 was subject to an investigation by Ukrainian officials.
The whistleblower complaint, which concerned the purported “quid pro quo” Trump laid out in the phone call, sparked the impeachment inquiry and the president has since been highly critical of the unnamed person – questioning the whistleblower’s credibility and asking for the disclosure of the person’s name.