Hours off of receiving a second Twitter attack from President Donald Trump, California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said White House chief of staff John Kelly should put the President in “time out.”
“It may be time for General Kelly to give the President a time out,” Schiff said in an interview on Monday with CNN’s Jim Sciutto. “I think the country would certainly benefit from that anyway.”
Trump tweeted about Schiff on Monday morning, shortly before praising Schiff’s Republican counterpart, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes for the release of a controversial GOP memo alleging surveillance abuse by the FBI against a former Trump campaign adviser.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
In his interview Monday afternoon, Schiff noted it might be an upgrade from the time last year that Trump called him “Sleazy Adam Schiff.”
“First he attacked me some months ago, calling me ‘sleazy Adam Schiff,’” Schiff said. “Now it’s ‘little Adam Schiff,’ which I don’t know, seems better?”
Schiff further denied he or his staff were behind leaks of sensitive information and said he thought the line of attack stemmed from his public confirmation that Donald Trump Jr. declined to answer questions in a House Intelligence Committee interview by citing attorney-client privilege.
“They were embarrassed by the fact that the President’s son claimed some attorney client privilege when neither he nor his father is attorney nor client,” Schiff said, later adding, “We refuse to allow witnesses to come before our committee and say publicly they’re fully cooperating and then invoke bogus privileges.”
Schiff’s comments came shortly before the House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to release a Democratic memo from Schiff, rebutting claims from the GOP memo released Friday. Schiff said he anticipated enough Republicans would support release to send the memo to the White House for declassification, and while allowing for the possibility Trump could block release of the memo and expressing concern he might redact some of it for political purposes, Schiff said he expects Trump will allow it to become public as well.
“We do have other options in which we can seek to make it public, but I would think that the White House would be very hard-pressed, after saying the want the Republican memo to come out in the interest of full transparency, to then censor the Democratic memo,” Schiff said.