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In what may very well have been a first, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff was finally confronted to his face Tuesday over his role in propagating the Russia collusion delusion hoax and conspiracy theory.
But not by a “journalist.” He was confronted by Trump-era State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus as she was filling in as a guest host on ABC’s “The View.”
Notable that Adam Schiff — who appears on every CNN, MSNBC and Sunday morning network news program as often as possible — just had his first truly adversarial questioning about his pathological Russiagate lies not on any of those networks but from Morgan Ortagus on the View.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 9, 2021
Ortagus specifically asked Schiff whether he’s practiced any introspection now that the Steele dossier that he’d relentlessly promoted for years on end has been found to be a completely fraudulent document rooted in purposeful lies.
“I want to ask you about something that’s in the news a lot right now. You’ve been really prolific over the past few years being the head of the intel committee, and you defended, promoted, you even read into the congressional record the Steele dossier,” she said to him.
“And we know last week the main source of the dossier was indicted by the FBI for lying about most of the key claims in that dossier. Do you have any reflections on your role in promoting this to the American people?” the Trump-era official then asked.
Schiff responded by refusing to take responsibility for propagating the Steele dossier and for also falsely claiming again and again that he’d seen evidence proving that then-candidate Donald Trump had colluded with Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
“Well, first of all, whoever lied to the FBI or lied to Christopher Steele should be prosecuted, and they are. And unlike in the Trump administration, if they’re convicted, they should go to jail — not be pardoned. So Donald Trump pardoned Roger Stone for lying. He pardoned Michael Flynn for lying. If people lied to the FBI, they should go to jail,” he said.
Defenders of Stone and Flynn have argued that both were ensnared in “process” crimes and that their so-called “lies” weren’t purposeful — they were just the byproducts of “faulty memory.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 13, 2018
The same has not been said of Steele’s main source, Igor Danchenko, who was formerly a researcher at the left-wing, Clinton-linked Brookings Institution, and whose own source was a longtime friend, ally and associate of 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In Danchenko’s case, the evidence strongly suggests the lies were purposefully designed to hurt Donald Trump.
Schiff continued by claiming he couldn’t have known at the time that the Steele dossier was nothing but a collection of bullschiff.
“But at the beginning of the Russia investigation, I said that any allegations should be investigated. We couldn’t have known, for example, people were lying to Christopher Steele. So it was proper to investigate them,” he said.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce critic of the Russian collusion delusion investigation, was unimpressed by these arguments. In a tweet posted Tuesday afternoon, he outright described Schiff as an “amoral sociopath.”
Continuing the discussion on “The View,” the Democrat lawmaker then tried arguing that Paul Manafort’s post-2016 conviction on crimes completely unrelated to the former president proved that the collusion investigation was merited.
“And let’s not forget what we learned in that investigation. We learned that the Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was giving internal polling data, campaign polling data, to Russian intelligence while Russian intelligence was helping the Trump …,” he said before being cut off by Ortagus.
She first noted that Manafort was fired by Trump in August 2016, months before the election, and then tried pivoting the discussion back to her original point.
“You may have helped spread Russian disinformation yourself for years by promoting this. I think that’s what Republicans and what people who entrusted you as the intel committee chair are so confused about — your culpability and all,” she said.
Schiff responded by claiming it was absolutely impossible to have known in advance that the dossier — which claimed, among other things, that Trump had once paid Russian hookers to urinate on a bed that had been slept on by former President Barack Obama — was full of garbage.
“I completely disagree with your premise. It’s one thing to say allegations should be investigated, and they were. It’s another to say that we should have foreseen in advance that some people were lying to Christopher Steele, which is impossible, of course, to do,” he said.
Critics say he could have at least tried looking for the truth instead of blindly accepting the contents of the dossier. To his credit, the entire establishment press also blindly accepted the document as fact.
Keep in mind that some critics have alleged that Schiff and his media allies knew that the dossier was garbage from the get-go but chose to pretend otherwise to hurt Trump:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 7, 2021
“But let’s not use that as a smokescreen to somehow shield Donald Trump’s culpability for inviting Russia to help them in the election, which they did. For trying to coerce Ukraine into helping him in the next election, which he did. [For] inciting an erection … an insurrection, which he did. None of that is undercut. None of that serious misconduct is in any way diminished by the fact that people lied to Christopher Steele,” Schiff continued.
And no, that wasn’t a typo — he accidentally said “erection” instead of insurrection.
Regardless, critics have also pushed back on this sort of rhetoric by noting that Trump was far tougher on Russia and far nicer to Ukraine than current Democrat President Joe Biden has been.
In the first 4 months of Biden’s term:
1) US Govt says Russian hackers caused a major gas shortage in the US.
2) Biden gives go-ahead for Russian gas pipeline to EU: the top Kremlin priority.
3) Biden agrees to meet Putin.
4) Blinken urges cooperation with the Kremlin.🇺🇸🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/oouDohMJLq
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 20, 2021
Ortagus, for her part, promptly fired back by saying, “No, I think just your credibility is” diminished.
And that of every media outlet that had portrayed him as some beacon of truth, of course …
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