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White House is preparing for a ‘big fight’ with Congress over whistleblower scandal: CNN reporter

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Composite image of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and President Donald Trump (screengrabs)

On Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” reporter Evan Perez said that the White House is gearing up for a showdown with the House Intelligence Committee over a whistleblower complaint of “urgent concern” for national security that President Donald Trump’s officials appear to be covering up.

“Evan, this has been developing through the day. [Intelligence] Chairman [Adam] Schiff was very quiet, and now suddenly there’s going to be this briefing, and what’s really going to happen at the briefing tomorrow?” asked anchor Erin Burnett.

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“Well, we don’t know exactly what the inspector general is going to be able to tell the committee,” said Perez. “This is now obviously going to be a briefing that they’ll have tomorrow and next week on Thursday the acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire will appear before the committee in open session to describe a little bit about the handling of this whistleblower complaint. And there are no promises being made that they’ll learn exactly what the nature of this complaint is and why it is that the Director of National Intelligence and perhaps the White House is trying to assert what they say might be privilege with regard to this information.”

“So we know that this began on August 12th when someone came forward with this concern,” said Perez. “We know that the inspector general looked at it and viewed it as credible, of concern and of urgent concern and the reason why they wanted to alert the committee. What we don’t know is exactly what the nature of is and why the White House would need to assert privilege, which is, again, what is suggested by the response from the Director of National Intelligence. We’ll see whether or not we can get more from the inspector general and the Director of National Intelligence, but as long as the White House is drawing the line this will be a big fight between Congress and the White House.”

“By the way, Erin, the backdrop is that the White House has been defying a lot of these requests from the members of Congress and basically telling them to go to court to try to fight this,” added Perez.

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