Over the past week, far-right propaganda outlets have been kicking around the name of an individual whom they claim is the Ukraine scandal whistleblower. It’s why Donald Trump and his underlings keep insisting that the mainstream media ‘do its job’ and report the alleged whistleblower’s name. We’ve tried to avoid even addressing this matter, for fear of giving additional attention to it. But now Donald Trump Junior just made a huge mess of the whole thing.
Even as the likes of Donald Trump and Rand Paul have flirted with outing the whistleblower by demanding that the media report the name that’s been uncovered, Donald Trump Junior went and tweeted out the person’s actual name while linking to a Breitbart article. The name is not someone that you’ve heard of. We’re not going to publish it here, and there’s no reason for you to go hunt it down. Not only was this a reckless and potentially criminal act on Junior’s part, there’s also reason to believe that this person may not even be the whistleblower, as the timeline of his employment does not appear to match up with what’s been established about the whistleblower’s timeline.
After backlash erupted against Donald Trump Junior, he fired back on Twitter: “The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower.” There’s a problem here, though. The whistleblower credibly accused Donald Trump Junior’s father of having feloniously conspired against the United States. So it’s easy to make the argument that Junior isn’t acting as a random private citizen here, and is instead trying to retaliate against his father’s accuser, which could get him into all kinds of legal trouble once his father is eventually no longer in control of the Department of Justice.
But there’s a more immediate problem. Donald Trump and Rand Paul have seemed to understand that if they outed this person’s name, it could end up blowing back on them in the perception department. It’s why they keep begging the mainstream media to do it for them. But now Donald Trump Junior has gone and named this person directly – and most of the public is going to see this as a vicious retaliatory move. Whether this person turns out to be the whistleblower or not, Junior just blew it for his father.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report