President Trump said Rep. Adam Schiff should be investigated for leaking an assessment from the intelligence community that Russia will interfere in the 2020 presidential election to help Sen. Bernie Sanders win.
“Nobody said it to me at all,” the president told reporters about not being briefed on Russian involvement. “They ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that intelligence.”
The president suggested that Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, released the information to hurt Sanders’ presidential bid.
“I think what it could be, the Democrats are treating Bernie Sanders very unfairly. And it sounds to me like a leak from Adam Schiff because they don’t want Bernie Sanders to represent them,” Trump said outside the White House on Sunday as he prepared to depart for a two-day trip to India.
Schiff pushed back at the president on Twitter, noting Trump’s connections to Russia.
“Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again,” Schiff, one of the main players during the House’s impeachment inquiry into the president, posted.
News reports last week said intelligence officials had briefed Republican and Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee that the Kremlin was trying to help Trump win in November.
Then on Friday, the Washington Post reported that Sanders had been informed about Moscow’s intention to back his campaign.
“The intelligence community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign right now, in 2020,” Sanders told reporters in California about the development.
“I say to Mr. Putin, if elected president, trust me, you are not going to be interfering in American elections.”
The Democratic presidential candidate confirmed that he was briefed about Russia last month and questioned why the news broke on the eve of the Nevada caucus.
“Why do you think it came out?” Sanders asked. “It’s The Washington Post? Good friends.”
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