Did Trump make promise to foreign leader?

Washington Post reporter Shane Harris breaks down their reporting of a whistleblower’s complaint regarding the president’s communication with a foreign leader on “The View.”
3:48 | 09/19/19

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Transcript for Did Trump make promise to foreign leader?
into this story because D.C. -- Washington, D.C. Is buzzing and congress is behind closed doors right now. Why? It's over an intelligence official who reportedly blew the whistle on a disturbing promise that he heard trump make to a foreign leader, okay? Yes. It's very Stephen king. And joining us now to break it all down for us is a reporter who helped break the story for "The Washington post," Shane Harris. Shane, welcome to the show. It's joy Behar speaking. I know you can't see us, but we can see you. Good to be here, thanks. Yes. So break down the story for us in a nutshell. What exactly happened, and how did you learn about it at "The Washington post"? Well, on August 12th this individual whose idea we still don't know who is an intelligence official filed a complaint with the general inspector who oversees all the spy agencies in the government alleging that there was a conversation the president had with a foreign leader in which he made some troubling promise. The inspector general which is an independent watchdog that looks over wrongdoing looked at this, found it was credible and it met a legal threshold for being an urgent problem. Normally what happens is the inspector general normally tells congress, but we understand that trump administration officials blocked them from doing that. The congress eventually found out about it, and what we were able to show last night is at least some of what the substance of what this allegation is. The congress, it's important to note doesn't know what exactly this whistleblower is alleging, but we found out it's the president and a conversation he had with a foreign leader, and some promise that was troubling enough and disturbing enough to make this official go and tell higher authorities so it could be investigated. Uh-huh. So we don't know what the promise was, and we don't know who the leader was, but we actually know who the whistleblower is. We don't know it, but somebody does. What can you tell us about the person who actually did this? Well, this person was at one point working with the national security council which is a group inside the white house, and he was on temporary detail at the white house. We don't know if he saw the behavior then or later, but would have been in a position not to be a junior person. Usually when you are talking about somebody from a spy agency that goes over to the white house, these are people who are more senior. That's important because people who work in the white house understand that Donald Trump says classified things out loud. He does a lot of things that are very unconventional. This person would have known how to separate that everyday behavior from something more serious, and it seems like it fell into that latter category for this person. That's where it gets confusing. If it's so urgent, why wouldn't the director of national intelligence want congress to look into this? Isn't that their job? To protect the country even at the expense of the president? It seems like something is trying to be covered up in some way, or is that thinking too much of this? No, I don't think so. What we know is the director of national intelligence ordinarily would transmit this to the congress so they could investigate it as part of their constitutional oversight duty, but somebody asked the department of justice, can you take a look at this? When they did, they said, this involves what's called privileged communications. So when the president talks to a foreign leader, that's covered by executive privilege. They said, you don't have to tell congress about this. This is very unusual, and maybe unique. That is not how this is supposed to work. That information should go from the dni to congress, which I stead, it took this detour where trump officials weighed in and said, no. You don't have to tell congress. You're not going to tell congress about this.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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