House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff defended himself Tuesday against Donald Trump Jr.’s accusation of leaking by stating he didn’t “leak” testimony, but rather he exposed it.
“That’s not a leak, it is exposure of his non-cooperation and his stonewalling of our committee,” Schiff responded when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer confronted him about Trump’s allegation.
“He’s been making this claim all along. What upsets Don Jr., and I can understand why he’s upset, is he was saying publicly, ‘I’m fully cooperating with Congress, I’m answering all their questions,” Schiff said. “Then he goes before our committee and refuses to answer a whole host of questions, making completely fallacious claims of privilege, and we called him out on it as we have done with other witnesses.”
Trump told Fox News earlier in the day he believes “there’s a 99.9 percent chance [Schiff is] the guy” who has been leaking private testimony that he gave in 2017 when he appeared before the House Intelligence Committee to discuss the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting.
“I came out of testimony 8 at night and CNN is running quotes from noon on about my testimony, you know, in the House Intelligence Committee,” Trump said. “I mean, that has to say something about what is going on and who they are. Since [Schiff has] never met a camera he didn’t love, I would bet a lot of money that it was him.”
“Now, he calls that a leak because we exposed the fact that he refused to answer questions and was making up some attorney-client privilege to cover conversations between he and his father when neither is an attorney nor the client of the other,” the California congressman continued. (RELATED: Donald Trump Jr. Reacts To Ocasio-Cortez’s Complaint About Gossip Masquerading As Reporting)
Schiff contended Republicans and Democrats alike “expose” information in a similar fashion.
“We have always maintained the position that while we won’t talk about the substance of a witness’s testimony closed session, we will reveal whether [they’re] non-cooperative so that they cannot mislead the public into thinking that they’re coming and answering all of our questions,” Schiff said. “That is not only a practice that we have had, but also my colleagues in the GOP have from time to time used the same practice.”
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