Rep. Matt Gaetz is calling for the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat to “step aside” from the Russia investigation in the wake of reports that he discussed obtaining non-existent nude photos of President Trump with a Russian model.
The Florida Republican accused Rep. Adam Schiff of “playing footsies” with Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian dignitaries in possession of compromising photos of Trump.
“Adam Schiff should step aside as the lead Democrat on the Intel committee as a consequence of this scandal,” Gaetz said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday.
“While our FBI and Justice Department were suffering through an Obama nation, an Obama influence with these attempts to influence investigations, you had Adam Schiff off playing footsies with the Ukrainians, trying to get naked pictures of Donald Trump,” Gaetz said. “Adam Schiff has gone from someone with oversight responsibilities to an actual principal in this investigation engaging with the Ukrainians and I think, for better objectivity, he ought to step aside.”
Carlson had previously slammed the Democratic lawmaker for engaging in the same activities he called treasonous in denouncing the Trump administration. Gaetz agreed with the Fox News host’s spotlight on the hypocrisy.
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“Jeff Sessions was talked into recusing himself because of a hand shake in a greeting line,” the GOP lawmaker said. “Here you’ve got Adam Schiff actually engaging with Ukrainians trying to dig up dirt on the president with seemingly no interest in whether or not the information is true or false or doctored. If you use the same standard that’s been applied to Republicans to Adam Schiff, he should have no role on the Intelligence Committee as a lead on this issue.”
Gaetz argued that Schiff’s “credibility with the American people” has “eroded.”
“I mean, it was only a few weeks ago Adam Schiff was saying if we released the Devin Nunes memo, there would be a national security catastrophe. That’s been proven to be false,” he said, referring to the national security risk he claimed would follow the FISA memo release.
“Time and again he has lost credibility. And I think the fact that he actively engaged with these Ukrainian principals, the fact that he goes on ‘Russia Today,’ the Russian sponsored television channel, to talk about our intelligence system certainly indicates that Adam Schiff should step aside,” Gaetz reiterated.
“That’s a level of hypocrisy that would really embarrass most people,” Carlson agreed. “If you are calling for a president to leave office on the basis of charges, standards that you yourself violate, wouldn’t you look yourself in the mirror and say no, that’s too hypocritical.”