President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday to blast one of his chief antagonizers, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the House Democrats’ leading impeachment manager.
An assessment that comes after the little-reported story of Schiff mischaracterizing a text exchange between Lev Parnas and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about trying to meet with the Ukrainian president in some 11th-hour evidence dumped by the Democrat.
“Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!” the president said.
Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Leave it to CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who never lacks a steady supply of sources, to come to the defense of the House Intelligence Committee chairman.
In an interview with Sen. James Lankford, R-OK, Tapper grilled the lawmaker over Trump’s tweet.
“Adam Schiff has been getting death threats, sources tell me,” Tapper said. “Do you condemn what the president tweeted?”
Lankford replied, “I don’t think the president is trying to do a death threat here, or do some sort of intimidation.”
“‘He has not paid the price yet?’” Tapper pushed, taking the tweet at its very worst.
“It’s no different than what Adam Schiff and what Speaker Pelosi were saying,” the GOP senator said. “That folks will be paying a price at the ballot box.”
Remarkably, Tapper equated the tweet to a remark Schiff said from the floor of the Senate, asking Lankford why he was offended by that, but not the president’s tweet.
“CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that key senators were warned, ‘Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.’ I don’t know if that’s true,” Schiff said — a remark that was immediately repudiated by several GOP senators, to include Sen. Susan Collins, the liberal Republican from Maine.
“I just don’t think it’s a death threat,” Lankford said of the tweet. “I don’t think he’s encouraging a death threat.”
Tapper then suggested that Trump supporters are very capable of killing those who disagree with the president.
On national television.
“But people who are supporters of the president have heard his rhetoric and then actually tried to bomb and kill politicians and the media,” he said. “That’s happened.”
Republicans have also been targeted, Lankford reminded the forgetful CNN anchor as he mentioned the Congressional baseball shooting the media quickly lost interest in.
Tapper pressed that he doesn’t understand why Lankford would be offended by Schiff leveling what appears to be a blatantly false accusation, but not over Trump tweeting about paying a political cost for egregious actions.
“I’m offended only because Adam Schiff believes that the only reason that we act the way that we do is because the president’s going to put our head on a pike,” Lankford said.
Schiff, who essentially stood by the assertion, appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” and was asked about the tweet by anchor Chuck Todd.
“I made the argument that it’s going to require moral courage to stand up to this president,” Schiff said. “And this is a wrathful and vindictive president. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it. If you think there is — look at the president’s tweets about me today saying that I should pay a price.”
“Do you take that as a threat?” Todd asked.
“I think it’s intended to be,” Schiff answered. “But look, it is going to be very difficult for some of these senators to stand up to this president. It really is. There’s just no question about it. And I want to acknowledge that. And I don’t want to acknowledge it in a way that is offensive to them. But I do want to speak candidly about it.”
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