The New York Times is facing criticism after publishing details about the person who filed a whistleblower complaint that sparked an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The Times wrote that the whistleblower was an analyst for the CIA who worked at the White House, citing people who are familiar with their identity.
Many people were concerned about the article because it could put the whistleblower in danger if their identity were to be released. The article was published not long after President Trump blasted the anonymous whistleblower and those who supplied the information used in the complaint. The president told a private group of people at a New York hotel that the whistleblower is "close to a spy," and suggested that the United States should "handle" them like it did "in the old days."
Another concern is that if the whistleblower's identity is revealed, it could prevent other people from coming forward with potentially damaging information.
"This whistleblower, who deserves to be protected, put the country first, went through all the proper channels to do this the right way," Nick Shapiro, former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to ex-CIA Director John Brennan, told NBC News. "This will send a chilling message to everyone else."
The New York Times is standing by their decision to publish information about the whistleblower, saying that it is crucial to understand the credibility of the person who filed the complaint.
"We decided to publish limited information about the whistleblower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible. We also understand that the White House already knew he was a CIA officer," Dean Baquet, the executive editor of paper wrote.
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