Mainstream media still goes to great lengths to protect CIA operative Eric Ciaramella…
The name of the presumed whistleblower, CIA operative Eric Ciaramella, has been something of an “open secret” floating in DC inner-sanctums and on conservative investigative blogs for several weeks. Nonetheless the mainstream media has shielded him from public identification.
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 stock images from the internet.
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 Associated Press 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 has repeatedly backed efforts to unmask the whistleblower. But his Friday night retweet marks the first time he has directly sent the alleged name into the Twitter feed of his 68 million followers.
The whistleblower filed a complaint in August about one of Trump’s telephone conversations with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other dealings with the Eastern European nation. The complaint prompted House Democrats to launch a probe that ended with Trump’s impeachment earlier this month. The matter now heads to the Senate, where the Republican majority is expected to acquit the president.
Speculation about the whistleblower’s identity has been circulating in conservative media and on social media for months.
For months, an array of right-wing personalities, amateur pro-Trump internet sleuths and some conservative news outlets have published what they claim to be details about the whistleblower, including name and career history. The president himself has also been inching closer to outing the individual; earlier this week, Trump shared a tweet linking to a Washington Examiner article that included Ciaramella’s name.
Surfermom77, the Twitter handle on the post Trump retweeted, describes herself as a “100%Trump Supporter” and California resident.
The account had nearly 79,000 followers as of Saturday afternoon. Some of its previous posts have denounced Islam and sharply criticized former President Barack Obama and other Democrats.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.