JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Overnight, we saw something truly remarkable and stunning, and to many people, upsetting as the president and his allies are trying to out the whistleblower -- reveal the identity of the person who initially raised concerns about the president's phone call with Ukraine and asking to investigate domestic political opponents.
Joining me now is Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. Senator, thank you very much for being with us.
I want to play for you and for our audience, once again, what Sen. Rand Paul said last night on stage side-by-side with the president because I think there's something at many levels here that is of concern. Yes, the president and his allies have been trying to get the identity of the whistleblower out there, but I want you to listen to the way Rand Paul is doing it.
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SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): The whistleblower needs to come before Congress as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs. I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name.
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BERMAN: So, first of all, there's no evidence for what Rand Paul is saying there on the facts of the arguments he's making. But calling on others to release the identity of the whistleblower -- he knows that releasing the identity is against the law and dangerous.
What did you see there?
SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): Well, it's deeply troubling and really disappointing.
Number one, the whistleblower's identity and what they have to say at this point is totally irrelevant to this investigation.
It's like a person walking by seeing smoke coming out of the upstairs windows of a house and they call the fire department. The fire department comes and fights the fire. Who called the fire department doesn't matter if there's a real fire.
And this whistleblower -- I went back and read the complaint last night. Virtually everything in that complaint has now been verified in public -- in public testimony -- particularly the transcript of the -- the partial transcript. We don't even know if it's a real transcript, but the partial transcript of the call confirms exactly what the whistleblower said.
So, who it is -- I don't care if it's Tom Brady. It doesn't matter because the investigation is what happened.
This is a distraction, John. This is an effort -- and if their name comes out, they're going to spend a week finding that his grandmother voted Democratic for Franklin Roosevelt or something. It has nothing to do with the facts and it's simply a distraction.
There are all kinds -- I can go on and on about how wrong this is in terms of people -- you want people to come forward, you want to respect the law. And it's really -- disappointing is too mild a word. It's terrible and it's terrible for the country.