On Friday, Trump retweeted a post from a pro-Trump account that featured the same name prominently, and that has also shared photos of a person who it alleged was the whistle blower.
President Donald Trump’s Tweet identifying an intelligence analyst as the alleged whistleblower who helped spark his impeachment was temporarily blocked over the weekend. Twitter listed President Trump’s account among those that were affected by an outage.
On Friday, Trump retweeted a post on Twitter naming the alleged whistleblower. The anonymous whistleblower’s complaint ultimately led to the impeachment of the president by the House.
Trump Retweeted @sufermom77, an account that some speculate could be a bot due to high activity and the use of stock images for a profile picture.
By Saturday morning, the post been removed from Trump’s feed, thou it could still be found in other ways. While Trump has repeatedly backed efforts to unmask the whistleblower, his retweet marks the first time he has directly sent the alleged name on Twitter.
Unmasking the whistleblower, who works in the intelligence field, could violate federal protection laws that have historically been supported by both parties.
However, the second tweet, from the president’s personal account, was not visible on Saturday to all of his 68 million followers. It was visible again on Sunday afternoon, although the original account that shared the alleged whistleblower’s name had been deleted.
“Due to an outage with one of our systems, tweets on account profiles were visible to some, but not others,” Twitter Support said. “We’re still working on fixing this and apologize for any confusion.” A spokeswoman for the social media platform confirmed that the U.S. president’s account was among those affected.
The spokeswoman added that, per Twitter policy, any tweets that included private information about an individual, including the alleged whistleblower, would be in violation of its rules. Names are not considered private information, she said.
Democrats, some Republicans, and members of the U.S. intelligence community have strongly objected to the effort to reveal the whistleblower’s identify, calling it inappropriate and possibly illegal.
Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblower’s lawyers, said on Twitter in early November that Republicans had “sought to expose our client’s identity which could jeopardize their safety, as well as that of their family.”
Other Republicans, including Senator Rand Paul and the president’s son Donald Trump Jr, have previously shared links on Twitter to articles from right-wing news outlets identifying what they claimed was the likely whistleblower. However, Thursday marked the first time the president had done so, when he retweeted a link to a Washington Examiner article.
That retweet briefly disappeared from Trump’s Twitter account on Saturday, reported the Washington Post, CNN, and other media.