President says Schiff is leaking Russian meddling intelligence to harm Sanders’ campaign
President Donald Trump has called for an investigation into Democratic House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) over allegations he leaked intelligence on Russian election interference in a bid to harm Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential campaign.
According to Trump, Schiff leaked intel that suggested Russia was “helping” Sanders’ campaign because Democrats don’t want the independent senator to win the Democratic nomination.
“They ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that intelligence,” the president told reporters.
Trump noted that he hadn’t been briefed on any Russian meddling on Sanders’ behalf.
WATCH: After press reports that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election, Trump blames House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff and calls for an investigation into the leak. #MTP
Pres. Trump: “Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed me about that all.” pic.twitter.com/LYeemOptQh
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) February 23, 2020
The president suggested that Schiff released the information to hurt Sanders’ presidential bid.
“I think what it could be, the Democrats are treating Bernie Sanders very unfairly,” Trump said outside the White House on Sunday as he prepared to depart for a two-day trip to India.
“And it sounds to me like a leak from Adam Schiff because they don’t want Bernie Sanders to represent them.”
Schiff pushed back at the president on Twitter.
“Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one,” Schiff, one of the main players during the House’s impeachment inquiry into the president, posted.
Nice deflection, Mr. President. But 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. https://t.co/WlMDaz8stF
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 23, 2020
“You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020,” Schiff continued.
“Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it.
“You’ve betrayed America. Again.”
News reports last week said intelligence officials had briefed Republican and Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee that the Kremlin was trying to help Trump win in November.
Then on Friday, the Washington Post reported that Sanders had been informed about Moscow’s intention to back his campaign.
“The intelligence community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign right now, in 2020,” Sanders told reporters in California about the development.
“I say to Mr. Putin, if elected president, trust me, you are not going to be interfering in American elections.”
The Democratic presidential candidate confirmed that he was briefed about Russia last month and questioned why the news broke on the eve of the Nevada caucus.
“Why do you think it came out?” Sanders asked.
“It’s The Washington Post? Good friends.”