WashPost’s Marcus Fears ‘Violence’ Against Whistleblower by ‘Deranged’ Trump Fans

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Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Thursday, Washington Post deputy editorial page editor and columnist Ruth Marcus warned that President Trump’s criticism of the anonymous whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry could inspire some of Trump’s “deranged” Twitter followers to “use violence” if the unknown government official’s identity was ever revealed.

“Ruth Marcus, the President’s attacks on the whistleblower which have been refuted now by the whistleblower’s attorney, but still could be – have a chilling effect on other whistleblowers and other witnesses,” anchor Andrea Mitchell fretted. Marcus agreed: “Yes, and that may be in fact the point. It is scary to come forward with allegations like this.”

 

 

The Post journalist continued to hype how “scary” all the attention was for the still-anonymous individual: “It is not just scary in terms of your career, but it is scary, as I understand it, in terms of your personal security and the risks to yourself and your family. And much concern on the part of the whistleblower and his lawyers about personal security.”

Marcus then warned that Trump fans on social media might try to harm the whistleblower if he or she’s identity became public: “And when the President of the United States attacks you, he has millions and millions – tens of millions of Twitter followers, some of whom we’ve seen in the past – and this is not the President’s fault – but some of these Twitter followers are deranged and can try to use violence against you. That is a scary situation.”

That sentiment echoed a similar claim on MSNBC just days earlier, when a pundit suggested “heavily armed” Trump supporters may invade Washington D.C. “to protect their president” from impeachment.

On Tuesday, the broadcast networks rushed to justify the “extreme measures” being considered by House Democrats to conceal the whistleblower’s identity. On Thursday, ABC's Good Morning America accused the President of launching a "smear campaign" against the whistleblower.

Mitchell’s assertion that the whistleblower’s attorney had “refuted” reports that the whistleblower had a connection to one of Trump’s 2020 Democratic rivals was not accurate. The attorney denied the connection, but didn’t offer any actual evidence to “refute” the charge.

In fact, as reported by Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the whistleblower having a “political bias” and “professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates” was something revealed by Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson during recent congressional testimony.

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Here is a transcript of the October 10 exchange between Mitchell and Marcus:

12:23 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Ruth Marcus, the President’s attacks on the whistleblower which have been refuted now by the whistleblower’s attorney, but still could be – have a chilling effect on other whistleblowers and other witnesses.

RUTH MARCUS [WASHINGTON POST DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR & COLUMNIST]: Yes, and that may be in fact the point. It is scary to come forward with allegations like this. It is not just scary in terms of your career, but it is scary, as I understand it, in terms of your personal security and the risks to yourself and your family. And much concern on the part of the whistleblower and his lawyers about personal security. That’s why we’ve seen discussions from the Democrats about keeping his identity a secret. And when the President of the United States attacks you, he has millions and millions – tens of millions of Twitter followers, some of whom we’ve seen in the past – and this is not the President’s fault – but some of these Twitter followers are deranged and can try to use violence against you. That is a scary situation.

(...)

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