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Donald Trump and His Support of Whistleblowers — Through February, 2019

Donald Trump has signed legislation to protect whistleblowers, and The White House has cited it as one of his achievements as recently as February, 2019.

The Headlines

  • Support of Whistleblowers. Donald Trump has signed an executive order to protect whistleblowers, signed legislation to protect whistleblowers and has praised the concept of whistleblowing six times during his campaign and administration.
  • 15 Press Releases. Trump’s White House has issued 15 press releases citing his support of whistleblowing as one of the achievements of his administration
  • FBI Informant. He also offered to be an FBI informant in 1980, per a 1981 FBI memo.
  • Change in Tone. In the past month, he has referenced, tweeted or retweeted about whistleblowing 45 times as of 10/3/19 @ 2 pm. The 45 references were not supportive.

The Links

Just a quick blog post… more of a compendium. Donald Trump has spoken about whistleblowers in the past… and about turning people in to the authorities for wrongdoing. It’s recently that his expressed opinions of whistleblowers have changed.

Whistleblowing was something Trump has touted as positive as recently as 2018. He signed an Executive Order to protect whistleblowers in the VA on April 27, 2017. He spent 10 minutes, 35 seconds discussing the executive order on April 27, 2017, where he praised whistleblowers as a way to hold people accountable.

And we’re going to protect those who protect. And we’re going to protect the people that are protecting us.  — Donald Trump, 4/27/17

In addition, on October 26, 2017, he signed S.585, the “Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.”

He brought up whistleblowing in a speech at the United Nations on September 18, 2017:

We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of the people around the world. In order to achieve this, the United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistle-blowers and focus on results rather than on process. —Donald Trump, 9/18/17

The concept of whistleblowing was important enough to be cited 15 different times in White House press releases from July 27, 2017 – February 5, 2019, including the 2018 and 2019 White House list of presidential achievements released around the 2018 and 2019 State of the Union addresses. The 15 releases are listed below.

The concept, not the phrase, came up at least three times during his campaign, once on an interview on Morning Joe, and twice in speeches, as well as an early speech from his administration on February 8, 2017. They were in reference to “turning in” potential terrorists or gang members.

The federal government can never be that precise. But you’re in the neighborhoods — you know the bad ones, you know the good ones. I want you to turn in the bad ones. Call Secretary Kelly’s representatives and we’ll get them out of our country and bring them back where they came from, and we’ll do it fast. — Donald Trump, 2/8/17

These references are linked below:

Though note a quote, there is an FBI memo from 1981 where Trump offered to be an FBI informant. Trump was looking to build in Atlantic City and offered, according to a September 22, 1981 FBI memo, to serve as an FBI informant and station FBI agents in his casino. The full PDF of the memo is available online.

You can see all of his mentions of whistleblowers via this search link.


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