The vicious and ongoing war of words between Adam “Shifty” Schiff and President Trump continues to fester.
When Trump claimed that he had not been briefed on the interference effort aimed at disrupting the Democratic presidential primary in favor of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, despite a Washington Post report citing anonymous sources who said the president and lawmakers had been told of the matter, Schiff accused the president of betraying the country.
And yet, despite intelligence officials supposedly warning lawmakers that the Russians were trying to help Trump win reelection, Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien, said he has not seen any intelligence to corroborate that analysis. O’Brien also denied that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire was ousted over the leaked briefing.
Then, Trump told reporters he suspects Schiff is behind the reports.
“I read where Russia’s helping Bernie Sanders. Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed me about that at all,” the president said, later adding, “Adam Schiff and his group, they leaked it to the papers. As usual, they ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that information. He should not be leaking information out of intelligence. They ought to investigate Adam Schiff.”
Schiff fired back, tweeting, “Your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again.”
While it cannot be said with any certainty that “Shifty” Schiff is the source of this most recent and previous leaks, it is very likely that he, or other Democrats on the Intel Committee is behind the leaks. But, it is Schiff in particular who has an ax to grind with Trump over his failed attempt at impeachment.
Schiff strenuously denies accusations by Trump and congressional Republicans that he or other House Intelligence Committee Democrats have ever leaked classified information. But these claims are hard to take seriously given efforts since 2017 by Schiff and other Democratic intelligence committee members to weaponize intelligence to hurt Trump politically, including frequent committee leaks to the press.
It is long past time that the Trump administration patch these leaks by cutting off Schiff’s access to sensitive intelligence.