A spokesman for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., acknowledged Wednesday that the whistleblower alleging misconduct in the White House had reached out to Schiff’s panel before filing a complaint — prompting President Trump, in an extraordinary afternoon news conference at the White House, to accuse Schiff directly of helping write the document.
“It shows that Schiff is a fraud. … I think it’s a scandal that he knew before,” Trump said, as the president of Finland stood at an adjacent podium. “I’d go a step further. I’d say he probably helped write it. … That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it too. It’s a scam.”
Referring to Schiff — who has long claimed to have surefire evidence that Trump illegally conspired with Russians — as “Shifty Schiff,” Trump characterized Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “fraudulent crime on the American people.”
Earlier in the day, Trump described the inquiry as “BULLS—,” and mocked Schiff as a partisan “lowlife.” Trump specifically derided Schiff for reciting an inaccurate, exaggerated version of a transcript of Trump’s fateful July call with Ukraine’s leader — a move that Schiff himself later acknowledged was a “parody.”