President Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders both accused California Rep. Adam Schiff of selectively leaking details of the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation.
Trump put Schiff on blast during an interview with The Wall Street Journal in the Oval Office on Thursday morning.
“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. 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,” Trump said.
“It’s probably illegal, what he’s doing.”
Sanders also took a dig at Schiff during the White House press briefing on Thursday afternoon.
“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.
“We see that to be a big problem and something that should certainly be considered and looked at.”
Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, has not been specifically identified as a leaker of information about the committee’s Russia investigation. But leaks have been a constant theme during the committee’s probe, which began in January. Both Democrats and Republicans appear to have leaked details of witness interviews or developments in the investigation.
Most recently, committee Democrats were accused of leaking details of an interview conducted with Donald Trump Jr. last month. CNN published stories about some of Trump Jr.’s comments while his interview was still being conducted.
Committee Democrats have also been accused of being behind a leak of inaccurate details of an email sent to Trump Jr. during the presidential campaign.
An unidentified source told CNN that Trump Jr. and members of the Trump Organization were sent an email on Sept. 4, 2016, with a link to documents stolen from the DNC. The timing was significant because the stolen documents had not been made public. CNN reported the “bombshell” for hours before Trump Jr.’s attorney released a copy of the actual email. It showed that Trump Jr. was sent the email on Sept. 14, 2016. That was a day after the stolen DNC documents had been released publicly.
CNN refused to identify its sources and has yet to explain what led it to publish the erroneous story.
Schiff addressed Sanders’ comments during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN.
Schiff denied leaking witness interviews but was not asked the more narrow question of whether he has leaked any other details of the investigation or instructed his staff to do so.
“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. 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,” said Schiff.
“I’m not surprised by Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ attack,” he added.
When Tapper asked Schiff whether it was true or false whether he had leaked details of witness interviews, Schiff responded, “absolutely false,”
“Do you want an apology?” Tapper asked.
“They owe me an apology, but frankly it would be a wasted errand to ask for one,” said Schiff.
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