WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump, who identified an intelligence analyst as the alleged whistleblower who triggered his impeachment, was temporarily suspended over the weekend, and Twitter blamed a failure for a number of user accounts.
In the past few days, Trump has released an unfounded media report and a second post that named the member of the intelligence community.
However, the second tweet from the President’s personal account was not visible to all of his 68 million followers on Saturday. It was visible again on Sunday afternoon, although the original account that shared the suspect’s name had been deleted.
“Because of a failure in one of our systems, tweets in account profiles were visible to some but not others,” said Twitter support. “We are still working to fix this and apologize for any ambiguity.” A spokeswoman for the social media platform confirmed that the U.S. President’s account was among those affected.
The spokeswoman added that, according to Twitter guidelines, any tweets that contained private information about a person, including the alleged whistleblower, would violate his rules. Names are not considered private information, she said.
Democrats, some Republicans, and members of the US secret service have vigorously protested efforts to disclose the whistleblower’s identity, calling it inappropriate and possibly illegal.
Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblowers’ lawyers, said on Twitter in early November that the Republicans had “tried to reveal our customer’s identity, which could endanger their safety and that of their family”.
Other Republicans, including Senator Rand Paul and the son of President Donald Trump Jr., have previously shared links on Twitter to articles from right-wing news stations that they claim to be the likely whistleblower. However, on Thursday it was the first time that the President did so when he retweeted a link to an article by the Washington Examiner.
On Friday, Trump retweeted a post from a Pro Trump account that had the same name and also shared photos of a person who was said to be the whistleblower.
This retweet briefly disappeared from Trump’s Twitter account on Saturday, the Washington Post, CNN and other media reported.
(Reporting by Heather Timmons, edited by Rosalba O’Brien)