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On Friday, President Donald Trump blasted Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his allegedly false statements about the contact that his staff has reportedly had with the CIA whistleblower by tweeting out a video that used video clips from the Disney movie “Pinocchio” to imply that Schiff had lied about the events.
The video mocking Schiff comes after The Washington Post gave Schiff Four Pinocchios for his claims that his committee had not spoken to the whistleblower.
“LYIN’ SHIFTY SCHIFF!” Trump tweeted with the video.
LYIN’ SHIFTY SCHIFF! pic.twitter.com/vSZgFz9fIS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2019
Schiff allegedly lied to the American public during the following exchange on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on September 17:
Sam Stein: “Have you heard from the whistleblower? Do you want to hear from the whistleblower? What protections could you provide to the whistleblower?” …
Schiff: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to. But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation.”
“This is flat-out false … we know that’s not true,” Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote. “Schiff on ‘Morning Joe’ clearly made a statement that was false. He now says he was answering the wrong question, but if that was the case, he should have quickly corrected the record. He compounded his falsehood by telling reporters a few days later that if not for the IG’s office, the committee would not have known about the complaint. That again suggested there had been no prior communication.”
“The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity,” Kessler concluded. “Schiff earns Four Pinocchios.”
Schiff was also widely criticized last week after he fabricated quotes from Trump’s Ukraine phone call during a committee hearing.
And what is the President’s response — well it reads like a classic organized crime shake down. In essence, what the President Trump communicates is this: We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here. You know what I mean? I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of dirt, on this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, and not just any people. I’m going to put you in touch with the Attorney General of the United States — my Attorney General, Bill Barr — he’s got the whole weight of American law enforcement behind him. And I’m going to put you in touch with Rudy, you’re going to love him. Trust me. You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways. And don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) tweeted in response: “When you don’t have facts on your side some just make it up. The opening statement by their ring leader was #FullofSchiff. House Dems blatantly lying to justify their impeachment inquiry is horribly timed, poorly written and badly intentioned.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tweeted in response: “It is disturbing and outrageous that Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff opens up a hearing of this importance with improvised fake dialogue between President Trump and President Zelensky. We should focus on the facts.”