President Donald Trump on Monday accused the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee of being among “the biggest liars and leakers in Washington,” listing Rep. Adam Schiff alongside Obama-era intelligence officials, former FBI Director James Comey and another prominent Democrat.
“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!” the president wrote on Twitter, placing the California Democrat in the company of fired FBI Director James Comey, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all of whom the president has feuded with at one time or another.
“Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!” the president continued.
In the year since his election, Trump has waged a rhetorical campaign against government leaks that he believes have unfairly targeted his presidency, including stoking allegations that his campaign colluded with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has risen to prominence through Trump’s first year in office as central figure in his committee’s ongoing investigation into the Kremlin’s 2016 election interference efforts.
“Mr. President, I see you’ve had a busy morning of ‘Executive Time,'” Schiff wrote on Twitter, referencing an Axios report that Trump’s daily schedule has been increasingly dominated by free time, officially labeled “executive time,” to watch TV and peruse Twitter. “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 president’s attack against Schiff comes days after the Friday release of a memo written by GOP staff House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that accuses the FBI and Justice Department of malfeasance related to the latter’s ongoing Russia investigation, now overseen by special counselor Robert Mueller. Schiff fought against the release of the memo and has since argued that it represents an inaccurate representation of the facts and does not vindicate Trump’s position that he has been the subject of unfair treatment.
Schiff has previously admitted to harboring ambitions for other offices, saying in an interview last April that statewide office is “certainly something I’ve thought about in the past and may think about in the future, but I have a pretty full plate as it is.”