President Trump continued lashing out at critics of a controversial memo that aimed to shoot holes in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, mocking the highest Democrat on a House committee as “Little Adam Schiff” and calling him certainly one of Washington’s “biggest liars and leakers.”
“Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped! ” Trump wrote on Twitter.
He was mentioning former top intelligence community officials James Comey of the FBI, John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in addition to Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia).
Rep. Adam Schiff responded to Trump’s tweet later Monday morning.
“Mr. President, I see you’ve had a busy morning of ‘Executive Time.’ Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or … really anything else,” the California Democrat wrote on his Twitter account.
In the Twitter tit-for-tat, Trump then returned to the social media messaging website to name Rep. Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which voted last week to release the memo written by Nunes and other Republican members, a hero.
“Representative Devin Nunes, a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!” Trump wrote.
Schiff on Sunday rejected Trump’s tweet that the doc “totally vindicates” the president in the Russia investigation.
”Of course not at all,” the California Democrat mentioned Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“What the memo indicates is the investigation didn’t begin with Carter Page, it actually began with George Papadopoulos, someone who was a foreign policy adviser for candidate Trump and someone who was meeting secretly with the Russians and talking about the stolen Clinton emails,” he mentioned.
“So quite to the contrary, even this very flawed memo demonstrates what the origin of the investigation was and that origin involved the issue of collusion, ” Schiff added.
Nunes, in an interview Monday with “Fox and Friends,” ignored photographic proof and tried to downplay Papadopoulos’ involvement within the Trump campaign.
“As far as we can tell, Papadopoulos never even knew who – never even had met with the president,” he mentioned.
A photograph surfaced last October showing Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy adviser for the campaign, at a March 2016 meeting attended by candidate Trump and presided over by then-Sen. Jeff Sessions.
The memo alleges the FBI and the Department of Justice withheld essential info to persuade a judge to authorize a warrant to monitor Page.
The doc says they primarily based their info on the unsubstantiated claims in a file compiled by British former spy Christopher Steele.
It claims the judge wasn’t informed that Steele was employed by an organization paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
But even some Republicans threw cold water on the claim that the Russia investigation wouldn’t have been launched without the Steele dossier.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), who helped draft the memo as a member of the Intelligence Committee, stated a FISA judge would have approved the surveillance warrant because there’s still sufficient proof without it, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
“There is a Russia investigation without a dossier,” Gowdy mentioned Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower. The dossier has nothing to do with an email sent by Cambridge Analytica. The dossier really has nothing to do with George Papadopoulos’ meeting in Great Britain. It also doesn’t have anything to do with obstruction of justice. So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.”
The Democrats on the panel, who contend the Republicans cherry-picked particulars to make their point, wrote a 10-page memo rebutting the GOP memo’s allegations.
But the Republican-controlled panel voted to not release the Democrats’ memo to the general public.
Another vote on whether or not to release it might come later Monday.