5 things to know about alleged “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella

5 things to know about alleged “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella

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Real Clear Investigations published a story reporting that the identity of the man who first flagged the Ukraine phone call between Trump and Zelensky is known to just about every Washington insider as career CIA worker Eric Ciaramella.

The story was written by Paul Sperry, a conservative and Trump supporter who "outed" Ciamarella earlier this month on Twitter. The whistleblower's attorneys will not confirm or deny the identity of the whistleblower.

1. Ciaramella attended Chase Collegiate school in Connecticut before going on to Yale and then to work for the White House during the Obama Administration.

He traveled internationally throughout high school and college, studying a host of languages including Spanish, French, Russian, and Arabic. While at Yale, he majored in Russian and Eastern European Studies, earning his B.A. in 2008.

2.  He worked with former VP Joe Biden in the Obama administration, and with former CIA director John Brennan. 

Ciaramella was a CIA officer who specialized in Russia and Ukraine and was detailed over to the National Security Council in 2015, where he worked under President Obama's national security adviser. Biden's office invited him to an October 2016 state luncheon for the Italian Prime Minister. Brennan was also in attendance, as well as then-FBI Director James Comey. As Ciaramella was a low-level worker, this invitation was somewhat unusual.

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He worked on Ukrainian policy issues for Biden in 2015 and 2016. He stayed on during the Trump administration, until June of 2017.

3. An unnamed former White House official says Ciaramella opposed Trump's foreign policies. 

“My recollection of Eric is that he was very smart and very passionate, particularly about Ukraine and Russia. That was his thing – Ukraine,” he said. “He didn’t exactly hide his passion with respect to what he thought was the right thing to do ... and his views were at odds with the president’s policies.”

4. He's alleged to have started the "Putin fired Comey" story. 

Two years ago in May, a former co-worker says Ciaramella ignored the chain of command and sent an email to another agency, informing them Trump held a meeting with Russian diplomats the day after he fired Comey, who was leading the Trump-Russia probe.

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Ciaramella mentioned Putin had spoken with the president recently. The email was leaked to the media, and was cited in a footnote in the Mueller Report, which found no evidence of a conspiracy between Trump and Putin.

5. He worked with a Ukrainian-American DNC operative who dug up dirt on Trump's 2016 campaign.

Alexandra Chalupa was a Hillary Clinton supporter who tried to link Trump's campaign to the Russians. She met with top officials at the Ukrainian Embassy to try and expose links between Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia, eventually forcing Manafort's resignation. Ciaramella is said to have invited Chalupa to the White House for meetings.

Although there are many people advancing the idea of Ciaramella as the whistleblower, his father, a bank executive, has his doubts. "He didn’t have that kind of access to that kind of information," Tony Ciaramella said. “He’s just a guy going to work every day.”

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