U.S. Rep. Steve King posted photos Thursday of the son of prominent Democratic Party donor George Soros, falsely claiming he’s the White House whistleblower.
In the morning, King directed a tweet at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is leading an impeachment inquiry into charges that President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the family of political rival Joe Biden in exchange for military aid.
An unidentified whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy prompted the inquiry.
“Adam Schiff said, I do not know the identity of the whistleblower. @RepAdamSchiff here are four strong clues,” King said in a tweet along with photos of Alexander Soros posing with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.
A number of journalists and others quickly responded to King’s post, pointing out that Soros could not possibly be the whistleblower because he does not work in the federal government or a U.S. intelligence agency.
Alexander Soros later took to Twitter to shoot down King’s claim. “Pretty sad that a member of Congress @SteveKingIA promoted the crazy lie and conspiracy theory that I am the whistleblower. The whistleblower has to be a government employee.”
Just before 1 p.m., King deleted his tweet and then posted a new one, with three new photos of a man he suggested is the whistleblower.
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“Adam Schiff said, ‘I do not know the identity of the whistleblower.’ Me either, but @RepAdamSchiff here’s a better clue,” King tweeted. He did not name the man in the photos, but they appeared to resemble a CIA official that some individuals have publicly identified as the whistleblower.
Twitter has allowed the name and supposed photos of the purported whistleblower, while Facebook and Google have said they would remove such references.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Thursday named the suspected whistleblower in a radio interview, and the person’s name has been posted on several websites, though no official vertification has been given.
King’s tweet came a day after the opening of public impeachment hearings in the House. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have pressed Schiff to require the whistleblower to testify.
Iowa’s two Republican senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, recently said they think the identity of the whistleblower should be kept confidential, in accordance with federal law designed to prevent retaliation.