‘Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) On Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff continued a Pinocchio-garnering streak of deceptive statements about his contact with an anonymous deep-state whistleblower.
During the interview, CBS host Margaret Brennan asked Schiff, “Do you regret saying that we—the committee—weren’t in touch with the whistleblower?”
“I should have been much more clear,” Schiff acknowledged, before continuing to muddy the waters of truthfulness.
Schiff was called out last week for lying about his prior contact with the whistleblower, insisting that he did not know who the anonymous person was or why the complaint against President Donald Trump was filed.
Schiff claimed that he had misunderstood the question he was posed, but the Washington Post‘s fact-checking columnist noted that he had both failed to correct the record and repeated the lie in subsequent interviews.
On Sunday, Schiff misled the public again by suggesting he had corrected the record in a timely manner.
“I said so—the minute it was brought to my attention—that I was referring to the fact that, when the whistleblower filed the complaint, we had not heard from the whistleblower,” he asserted. “We wanted to bring the whistleblower in at that time, but I should have been much more clear.”
Schiff initially suggested that the so-called whistleblower, a CIA staffer with likely ties to former Vice President Joe Biden, might publicly testify.
However, he later backpedaled on that statement and has since insisted on maintaining the accuser’s anonymity while conducting secretive tribunal meetings to gather evidence against Trump.
Schiff said on Sunday that if the whistleblower does testify it will be in a closed-door, off-site hearing to protect the anonymous person’s identity.
“Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected,” Schiff told CNN.
Regardless of the committee’s actions, Schiff said the validity of the whistleblower complaint still stands.
“We have discovered in short order not only the contents of that call but also the preparatory work that went into the call,” he said.
“The effort to condition something the Ukrainian president deeply sought—and that was a meeting with the president—to establish that this new president of Ukraine had a powerful patron in the president of the United States that was of vital importance to Ukraine, was being conditioned on digging up dirt on the Bidens,” he added.
Most critics have pointed out that the Ukraine phone call did not establish evidence of quid pro quo corruption. But Schiff said that doesn’t matter.
“Well, first of all, there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo,” he said. “Here you have a president of the United States abusing his power to the detriment of our national security to get another country to intervene in our election. It is hard to imagine more of a corruption of his office than that.”
On Monday, Trump countered that if Schiff and the whistleblower believed there was enough evidence to support the claims, they would not need to operate in secrecy.
Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify. NO! Must testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong, not even close. Did Schiff tell him to do that? We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.