House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) has a unique ability to irk President Trump. And his stinging response to President Trump’s lengthy screed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is sure to do just that.
“It is a long, angry rambling letter of someone who appears not well,” Schiff told CNN’s Dana Bash Wednesday morning when she asked for his reaction to the letter that Pelosi had called “really sick.” “And I’m not sure any other way to describe it.”
Schiff then tore into Trump, who the congressman believes “wants to think that the impeachment provision, which the founder put in the Constitution, is somehow unconstitutional” and that “he can do no wrong.”
“That makes no sense. It was a constitutional remedy meant for a President like him who put his personal interests over that of the nation,” Schiff said. “This President believes he is the state, that he can do no wrong, under article two he can do anything he wants. Well, he can’t. He’s not a king. He’s not our ruler. He’s an elected president who can be removed for abusing his power, and that he has done.”
President Trump has lashed out against Schiff on Twitter and in public with remarkable consistency as the impeachment inquiry has unfolded against him. Trump’s outbursts were triggered by Schiff paraphrasing the President’s call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky back in September.
When Schiff was pressed on Trump’s attacks against him in the Oval Office Tuesday during the Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’ visit — where the President whined about being unable to prosecute the House Intelligence chair and threatened that “in Guatemala they handle things…much tougher than that” — he argued those words were intended to be a threat.
“I think that’s what he intended it to be,” Schiff said, pointing out Trump’s history of going after whistleblowers by calling them traitors and spies.
However, Schiff denied that Trump’s intention was to send him to jail. Instead, Schiff views “the undertone” of Trump’s remarks as “very much a reference to Guatemala’s violent history.”
When asked to expand on what he meant by “violent history,” Schiff doubled down on arguing that Trump’s remarks were “deliberately designed to be a threat” and that “this is the President’s modus operandi.”
Watch Schiff’s remarks below:
Schiff on Trump's screed to Pelosi: "It is a long, angry rambling letter of someone who appears not well." pic.twitter.com/aLaKeqmskw
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 18, 2019