Immediately after the impeachment inquiry was announced in late September, President Donald Trump bashed the whistleblower who initially filed a complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence community.
The ICIG said that the whistleblower’s complaints, which detailed how Trump had attempted to coerce a foreign power to investigate a political rival of his, was a legitimate concern worth looking into.
Trump at the time appeared livid, at one point even suggesting that the whistleblower’s actions (and those who helped them) were treasonous. His remarks left little doubt as to how he thought the people involved should be treated…
“I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
Trump has launched a number of attacks toward the whistleblower since then, in public remarks and on Twitter. As a result, government employees say they’re less likely to report an improper action within their departments if they witness it, fearing retribution like what they witnessed happening earlier in the year.
Federal workers less likely to report corruption after attacks on whistleblower, poll finds https://t.co/b8o47d6UEL
— Jeremy Schulman (@jeremyschulman) December 20, 2019
A poll by the Government Business Council found that 34 percent of government workers were less likely to report such abuses due to Trump’s remarks. Fifty percent said Trump’s remarks had no effect on them, and 16 percent said they’d be more likely to report something because of the way the president acted.
The change in attitudes is evidence that Trump’s remarks have had a chilling effect on workers since they were made.
Workers were also asked their opinions on impeachment and on Trump himself. Fifty-two percent of government workers say they support impeachment, while 43 percent said they were opposed. A wider gap exists on the opinion of Trump overall — 65 disapprove of his job performance, while 37 percent say he’s doing a good job as president.