Donald Trump's promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the United States intelligence community that it prompted the person to file a whistleblower complaint, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Two former US officials familiar with the matter told the Washington Post about the episode.
Putin is the only one Trump is known to have spoken on the phone with, a call Trump initiated.
The formal whistleblower complaint by a US official that Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to turn over to Congress was reportedly sparked by an alarming "promise" President Donald Trump made to a foreign leader in recent weeks.
The complaint, in turn, has triggered a showdown with Congress, after acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire would not share details of it with lawmakers.
Schiff subpoenaed Maguire, saying he was withholding a whistleblower complaint from Congress and questioning whether he had been directed to do so by the White House or the attorney general.
Acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire will not comply with a House Intelligence Committee subpoena ordering him to provide the panel with a whistleblower's report of "serious misconduct", escalating a standoff with the panel's chairman over a complaint he says could involve the White House.
'The ICIG determined that this complaint is both credible and urgent, and that it should be transmitted to Congress under the clear letter of the law.
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He added that if the "director of national intelligence is going to undermine the whistleblower protections, it means that people are going to end up taking the law into their own hands and going directly to the press instead of the mechanism that Congress set to protect classified information".
The agreement seemed to head off the latest confrontation between congressional committees, led by Democrats, that are pursuing investigations of President Donald Trump and his administration, and a White House that largely refuses to cooperate.
The complaint was filed with Atkinson's office on August 12, a date on which Trump was at his golf resort in New Jersey. On Friday night, we learned that someone within the USA intelligence community sent a complaint to the intelligence community's inspector general, and though we knew effectively nothing about the nature of the complaint, the IG reviewed it and found it credible.
In a sign of Atkinson's discomfort with this situation, the inspector general informed the House and Senate intelligence committees of the existence of the whistleblower complaint - without revealing its substance - in early September.
Warning that Trump will likely attempt to distract from the whistleblower story "with his usual theatrics and tweets", New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali asked on Twitter: "What was the alleged "promise" Trump made?"
The office wrote that it plans to work with the House intelligence Committee but given that executive branch members are involved, there are "confidential and potentially privileged matters" that "will necessarily require appropriate consultations".
Schiff said that Macguire further argued that the complaint was about someone who was not within the intelligence community, and that the whistleblower statute thus did not apply.
The complaint was filed about a month ago, Schiff has said.