Antony Blinken Reacts to the Whistle-Blower Complaint

Today, the threat of impeachment facing President Trump took center stage on Capitol Hill, as a redacted version of the whistle-blower complaint that triggered these proceedings was made public. Antony Blinken was previously Deputy National Security Adviser, and now is foreign policy adviser to Joe Biden, and he joins the program from Washington to react to this extraordinary day.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Let me start out by asking you what you make of what’s been made public so far of the congressional testimony this morning and how you think this is playing politically rather than just in a matter of legal and national security first.

TONY BLINKEN, FORMER DEPUTY U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, Christiane, I think today was devastating because we now know that this was not just one phone call. We’ve had an ongoing campaign by the president of the United States to dig up dirt, discredited dirt, on his leading political rival, Joe Biden, and to put U.S. foreign policy at the service of his re-election. That’s devastating. We have now a long pattern of misbehavior. And tragically, an effort by the president to corrupt other agencies of government, the Justice Department, potentially the State Department, the National Security Council, all in service of his personal political gain. And so, that’s what’s really come out today in the revelation of the whistleblower’s report. And eventually, that person presumably will testify. We’ll hear more, but there’s so many other individuals now who have been implicated in what’s gone on, not just in this one phone call but over many, many months.

AMANPOUR: Tony Blinken, a lot of the characters who are certainly testifying today and who are involved in this — bringing this to a head are in fact President Trump appointees. Today, the acting DNI was questioned by the House Intelligence Committee and there is a back-and-forth that I want to play to you about the whistleblower, him or herself.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Can we at least agree that the inspector general made a sound conclusion that this whistleblower complaint was credible?

MAGUIRE: That is correct. That is in the cover letter that’s been provided to the committee. I believe that’s also made public, the decision and the recommendation by the inspector general that, in fact. the allegation was credible.


AMANPOUR: And Maguire goes on to say that he believes the whistleblower followed the law every step of the way. Tell me about how — I guess Joe Biden, we know, in the Obama administration was tasked with trying to clean up corruption and the abuse of power in the Ukraine during that investigation. But it’s now a really dirty mess. It sort of tarnished what Biden has been trying to do when he was vice president. How does that play?

BLINKEN: Well, I think it’s a dirty mess for the president of the United States brought on entirely by the president of the United States on himself. When he was vice president, you’re right, Joe Biden was responsible for leading international — American and indeed international efforts to support Ukraine in the face of aggression from Russia. One important component of that was getting the Ukrainians to tackle something that was eating away at their country from within and that was corruption. And that’s exactly what the vice president did

About This Episode EXPAND

Antony Blinken joins Christiane Amanpour to analyze the whistle-blower complaint at the center of the Trump impeachment investigation. Then, former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin gives his perspective on the case and New York Times reporter Declan Walsh discusses threats to journalism. Mona Eltahawy sits down with Michel Martin to explain her book “The Seven Necessary Sins for Women.”