Another Republican senator is speaking out in defense of the intelligence community whistleblower at the center of President Donald Trump’s rage this week.
“Whistleblowers should be protected,” Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa told a constituent at a town hall in Templeton, Iowa, on Thursday. “I stand with Chuck Grassley on this. We have laws in place.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized the whistleblower whose complaint lead to Democrats launching an impeachment inquiry. The whistleblower revealed the existence of a phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president where Trump pushed him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his political rival.
Ernst, who’s facing re-election next year, said last week she wasn’t concerned about the substance of the call. “I’ve looked at the transcript; I don’t see anything there,” she told The Washington Post.
She was pressed on the topic at the town hall on Thursday by a voter named Amy Haskins, who said, “Where is the line?”
“You didn’t pledge an oath to the president, you pledged it to our country, you pledged it to our Constitution. When are you guys going to start standing up and actually be there for us?” she said.
Ernst — who has said Trump interviewed her to be his running mate in 2016 — responded that “the president is going to say what the president is going to do. It’s up to us as members of the Congress to continue working with our allies making sure that we remain strong in a face of adversity.”
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