Last week, President Donald Trump argued that a Republican-authored memo should be de-classified and made public in the interest of transparency. This week, however, he’s using name-calling tactics in order to argue against a similar memo being released.
Trump logged into Twitter Monday morning and issued a tweet against House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), calling him “Little” and describing him as “one of the biggest liars in Washington.”
The president also called the Congressman a leaker of documents, accusing him of leaving committee hearings in order to disperse confidential information.
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! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
Schiff responded to Trump’s attacks shortly after, suggesting that the president turn off his television and actually get to work on several issues currently facing Washington.
Mr. President, I see you’ve had a busy morning of “Executive Time.” 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. https://t.co/lVqQRu2Gjl— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 5, 2018
The attacks from Trump come just days after Republicans released a memo with information alleging FBI abuses during the early days of the Russia investigation. But rather than vindicate Trump of any wrongdoing, the memo actually dispels a major talking point of Republicans — that the investigation itself began because of a controversial dossier.
The memo makes evident that conversations between George Papadopoulos (a former campaign aide to Trump) and Australian diplomats helped spearhead the investigation. Papadopoulos reportedly made a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in October and is cooperating with the investigation as it moves forward.
The memo that Democrats want released hopes to explain this and other omissions that the FBI suggested were within the original Republican-released memo. Democrats also hope to have the FBI and Department of Justice examine their memo first before its release to ensure nothing too compromising is within it, something that Republicans didn’t bother with in releasing their memo.
Trump’s name-calling of Schiff is a sign that the president is nervous about aspects of the Democratic memo exposing flaws in the Republican document released last week. The partisan GOP memo, which members of both parties say did not vindicate Trump, deserves to have a rebuttal.
It’s also evident that transparency was never an issue at all for Trump and Republicans. Were that the case, they’d have no issue with Democrats having their own memo released. The argument in favor of transparency was a ruse, and Trump’s attacks on Schiff and other Democrats makes that clear as day.