Does President Trump know a rat when he sees one?
During a Thursday morning Wall Street Journal interview, the president accused Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of leaking details of the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation.
“All I see of these Democrats, like Adam Schiff — it’s all he does, he’ll have a meeting, and then he’ll leave, and he’ll call up the meeting, and then I’ll have a meeting and then he’ll leave,” President Trump said. “He left meetings where people are being interviewed, and then all of a sudden they say a story about what’s going on inside the meetings.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also accused Schiff during a Thursday afternoon press briefing.
“The only people that we’ve seen trying to influence the investigation are former Director Comey and Democrats in Congress — and that would include Senator Feinstein, Representative Schiff — who have both selectively leaked to the media witness interviews,” said Sanders.
She continued, “We see that to be a big problem and something that should certainly be considered and looked at.”
The California lawmaker denied the allegations in a CNN interview.
“All the press that have dealt with me in this investigation know, often to their frustration, that I don’t discuss the contents of our investigative interviews,” Schiff told Jake Tapper. “The only exception I make is when people refuse to answer questions because I don’t allow them to leave the room and say we cooperated fully.”
Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was “not surprised” by the accusation from Sanders, and asserted he deserved an apology.
“They owe me an apology, but frankly it would be a wasted errand to ask for one,” Schiff said.
The congressional probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has been fraught with leaks.
Last month, CNN came under fire for a mistaken report that said Donald Trump, Jr. gave the House Intelligence Committee an email from a mysterious man named Mike Erickson, which included a link to a supposed preview of stolen DNC documents, along with a decryption key.
Hours later, The Washington Post discovered that the DNC documents in question had already been made public when emailed to the president’s son–meaning CNN’s “bombshell” report was essentially worthless.
CNN has not yet revealed who its sources were for the erroneous story.
Earlier this week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released transcripts of Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the Senate last year.
Are the president’s instincts on the money this time?
Luis Miguel is a South Florida-based writer covering politics, society, and culture.