President Trump retweeted a post that included the alleged name of the whistleblower whose complaint ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment by the House. Just before midnight Friday, Trump retweeted a message from Twitter user @Surfermom77, an account that claims to be a woman named Sophia who lives in California. The account shows some indications of automation, including an unusually high amount of activity and profile pictures featuring internet stock images. By Saturday morning, the post seemed to have disappeared on many users’ feeds, suggesting Trump had deleted it, though it could still be found in other ways, including on a website that logs every presidential tweet. The retweet then reappeared Saturday night. Twitter told the AP that an outage with one of its systems caused tweets on some accounts, including Trump’s, to be visible to some but not others.
Trump's Friday night retweet marks the first time he has directly sent the alleged name into the Twitter feed of his 68 million followers. Unmasking the whistleblower, who works in the intelligence field, could violate federal protection laws that have historically been supported by both parties. Speculation about the whistleblower's identity has been circulating in conservative media and social media for months. US whistleblower laws exist to protect the identity and careers of people who bring forward accusations by government officials. The AP typically does not reveal whistleblowers' identities. Facebook has a policy banning posts that name the alleged whistleblower. But Twitter, which doesn’t have such a rule, has not removed the tweet from Surfermom77 or other tweets that have named the whistleblower. "The Tweet you referenced is not a violation of the Twitter Rules,” Twitter told the AP.
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