Whistleblower timeline: Team Trump contacts and Ukraine

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Trump downplayed on Friday a complaint submitted by an intelligence whistleblower that reportedly involves Ukraine, claiming the complainant is partisan and his conversations with foreign leaders are “appropriate.”

It was a robust self-defense against accusations that remain, for now, veiled in mystery. An intelligence watchdog has said the claims are “urgent” and “serious,” but the acting top intelligence official has declined to provide them to Congress.

Below is a timeline of recent key events and stories surrounding Trump, Ukraine and the intelligence whistleblower.

Key events

  • May: Rudy Giuliani flirts with going to Ukraine — then says he isn’t going to go after criticism.
  • July 10-11: leksandr Danylyuk, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, visits the White House, Pentagon and the State Department.
  • July 24: Special counsel Robert Mueller testifies to Congress.
  • July 25: Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky talk by phone. In a readout, the Ukraine government readout references discussion of investigating corruption, but the White House version makes no mention — saying only that he was congratulating him on his recent election.
  • July 28: Trump announces that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will retire.
  • August: Giuliani says he spoke to a representative for Zelensky by phone and in person
  • August 8: Trump announces deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon will depart the administration.
  • August 12: A whistleblower files a complaint with the intelligence inspector general.
  • August 15: Gordon and Coats depart the Office of Director of National Intelligence.
  • August 26: Intelligence IG forwards complaint to the acting DNI.
  • August 28: Then-national security adviser John Bolton meets with Zelensky in Kiev.
  • August 30: Trump considers blocking $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, effectively pausing disbursement of the funds during a formal review process.
  • September 1: Vice President Mike Pence meets with Zelensky in Warsaw.
  • September 2: Deadline for DNI to send whistleblower complaint to Congress — he does not send it.
  • September 9: Intel IG notifies House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of an “urgent concern” that DNI has overruled.
  • September 9: Three House committees launch investigation of efforts by Trump, Giuliani and others to pressure the Ukrainian government to assist the President’s reelection efforts. The committees request information about Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky.
  • September 10: Schiff demands acting DNI turn over the complaint.
  • September 12: The administration hold on Ukraine aid is lifted.
  • September 13: Schiff subpoenas the acting DNI.
  • September 17: The acting DNI refuses to testify.
  • September 17: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks to the Ukrainian foreign minister
  • September 18: Revelation is reported that the complaint involves a Trump communication with a foreign leader and a “promise” made.
  • September 18: The Intelligence inspector general and the acting DNI say they will brief the House Intelligence Committee.
  • September 18: Pence talks to Ukrainian President Zelensky by phone.
  • September 19: The Intelligence inspector general gives a classified briefing to the House Intelligence Committee.
  • September 19: It is revealed by The Washington Post and The New York Times that the whistleblower’s concern was partly in regard to Ukraine.


  • September 25: Trump meets with Ukraine President Zelensky at the United Nations General Assembly.
  • September 26: The acting DNI to brief House Intelligence Committee.

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