Attorney says '60 Minutes' 'completely misinterpreted' whistleblower letter

An attorney representing the whistleblower who set off the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump said Sunday night that the CBS news show "60 Minutes" “completely misinterpreted” a portion of a letter outlining concerns over the person’s safety when the show reported that the whistleblower was under federal protection.

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In Sunday's show, "60 Minutes" reported that it had obtained a letter that said the whistleblower had been placed under federal protection because of fears for his or her safety.

The whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, tweeted a couple of hours after the show that "60 Minutes" had "completely misinterpreted" the letter and that his firm's client was not under federal protection.

Zaid’s tweet also contradicted another point in the “60 Minutes” report that said the whistleblower had agreed to speak with members of Congress, as House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, indicated in the report.

Zaid tweeted: "NEWS ALERT: 60 Minutes completely misinterpreted contents of our letter, which is now published online at …. Nor have we, as we stated earlier today, reached any agreement with Congress on contact with the whistleblower. Discussions remain ongoing.

The letter Zaid referenced, sent to acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, did address the whistleblower’s safety concerns and thanked Maguire for his “office’s support thus far to activate appropriate resources to ensure (the whistleblower’s) safety.”

CBS said in a tweet that it stands by both its sources and its reporting on the whistleblower.

Two hours after that tweet, Zaid posted another tweet asking if CBS had additional facts supporting the claims in the story.

"@60Minutes Are you now asserting you have a source other than the letter our legal team sent to @ODNIgov? Because if you don't, and I know you don't, then you're literally making stuff up. That helps no one, especially the #whistleblower. The media should always accurately report facts."

House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry following reports from the whistleblower that Trump had asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to find out any information he could about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

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