Live updates: Trump calls for Schiff’s resignation, as Pelosi says Barr has ‘gone rogue’ – The Washington Post
Meanwhile, more than 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials had signed a statement supporting an impeachment inquiry based on Trumpâs pressing Zelensky during their call to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential contender, and his son Hunter Biden.
10 a.m.: Oregon congressman accuses Trump of âtreasonâ
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), speaking on the House floor Friday morning, accused Trump of âtreason.â
DeFazio referred to remarks Trump made at a private event where the president said the whistleblowerâs actions were akin to being a spy or committing treason.
âLetâs see, Russia has invaded the Ukraine, Ukraine is dependent upon the United States for military assistance to defend itself, Trump is withholding the aid, at the same time asking them for dirt on his political opponent,â DeFazio said. âHeâs jeopardizing the national security interests of the United States. If anybody is committing treason, and I believe thatâs an impeachable offense, itâs the president of the United States, Donald Trump.
The lawmaker presiding over the House reminded DeFazio not to engage in personal attacks against the president in the House chamber.
A little later, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said DeFazio crossed the line and asked that the Democrat be reminded that âsuch violation wonât be tolerated in the future.â
9:45 a.m.: Trump speculates âa leaker or a spyâ fed information to whistleblower
Trump speculated on Twitter on Friday morning that the whistleblower might have received information from âa leaker or spyâ or a âpartisan operative.â He offered no evidence for his suggestions.
âSounding more and more like the so-called Whistleblower isnât a Whistleblower at all,â the president tweeted. âIn addition, all second hand information that proved to be so inaccurate that there may not have even been somebody else, a leaker or spy, feeding it to him or her? A partisan operative?â
Earlier Friday, Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow claimed that the whistleblower complaint wasnât written by the whistleblower.
âLook at the phraseology, the endnotes and the footnotes,â Sekulow said during an appearance on Fox Newsâs âFox & Friends. âThis wasnât drafted by this individual. This was written by a law firm.â
9:30 a.m.: Trump returns to Twitter, calls Schiff a âsick manâ
Trump fired off a series of mid-morning tweets, once again claiming his conversation with Zelensky was âperfectâ and taking aim again at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).
âIT WAS A PERFECT CONVERSATION WITH UKRAINE PRESIDENT!â Trump said in one tweet written in all capital letters.
Shortly afterward, he renewed his call from earlier Friday for Schiff to resign for what Trump contended was embellishing Trumpâs conversation with Zelensky during remarks during a hearing Thursday hearing with acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.
âRep. Adam Schiff totally made up my conversation with Ukraine President and read it to Congress and Millions,â Trump wrote. âHe must resign and be investigated. He has been doing this for two years. He is a sick man!â
Following Thursdayâs hearing, Schiff explained that his summary of Trumpâs call âwas meant to be at least part in parody.â
In his mid-morning tweets, Trump also declared that, âThe Democrats are now to be known as the DO NOTHING PARTY!â
9 a.m. Schiff responds to Trumpâs call for his resignation
Schiff took to Twitter on Friday morning to respond to Trumpâs call for him to resign for offering an embellished account of Trumpâs phone conversation with Zelensky during Thursdayâs House Intelligence Committee hearing.
âYou engaged in a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country. And then you tried to cover it up,â Schiff tweeted. âBut youâre right about one thing â your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves. But most importantly here, they endanger our country.â
Schiff said Thursday that his recounting of the Trump-Zelensky call was intended partly as parody, which Schiff said should have been obvious.
9 a.m.: Talk continues about Flakeâs claim on GOP impeachment votes
Buzz continued on social media Friday about a claim made the day before by former senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that at least 35 Republican senators would privately vote for Trumpâs impeachment.
Flake, a frequent critic of Trump, offered his assessment Thursday at the Texas Tribune Festival.
âI heard someone say if there were a private vote there would be 30 Republican votes. Thatâs not true,â Flake said during a question-and-answer session. âThere would be at least 35.â
A Senate vote at any impeachment trial would be public.
8:30 a.m.: New Yorker cover shows Trump and Giuliani killing Uncle Sam
The New Yorker revealed its cover art for next weekâs magazine, which depicts Trump and his personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani as mobsters throwing Uncle Sam off a bridge to his death.
8 a.m.: Pelosi says she prays for Trump, asks that âGod will illuminate himâ
During a morning television appearance, Pelosi said she is praying for Trump and accused Barr of have âgone rogueâ in his handling of the fallout from Trumpâs call with Zelensky.
In the midst of a discussion about her decision to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump, Pelosi said: âI pray that God will illuminate him to see right from wrong. Itâs very problematic.â
At other points during her appearance on MSNBCâs âMorning Joe,â Pelosi also accused Trump of âbeing disloyal to the oath of his officeâ and having used taxpayer dollars to âshake downâ Zelensky.
Pelosi was referring to the fact that Trump had suspended military aid to Ukraine at the time of the phone conversation with Zelensky, in which he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens.
Trump has said repeatedly that there was âno quid pro quo.â
During the interview, Pelosi was also highly critical of Barrâs handling of the episode.
Barrâs Justice Department played a central role in holding up the disclosure of the whistleblower complaint to Congress.
As acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire testified Thursday, he consulted the Justice Departmentâs Office of Legal Counsel, which overruled the inspector generalâs determination that the complaint was of âurgent concern,â a legal threshold that would have required disclosure to Congress within seven days.
âHeâs gone rogue,â Pelosi said of Barr, adding: âI think where theyâre going is a coverup of the coverup.â
7:45 a.m.: Trump calls on Schiff to âresign immediatelyâ
Trump on Friday called on Schiff to âimmediately resignâ following Thursdayâs hearing in which the House Intelligence Committee chairman offered an embellished account of Trumpâs conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
âRep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesnât exist,â Trump said in a tweet. âHe was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty.â
âHE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT. Adam Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public,â Trump continued. âHe has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!â
Schiff explained later in the hearing what he had done.
âMy summary of the presidentâs call was meant to be at least part in parody,â he said. âThe fact that thatâs not clear is a separate problem in and of itself.â
During an appearance on MSNBCâs âMorning Joe,â Pelosi said she was âso proud of Adam Schiffâ for his handling of the hearing but did not allude to the episode in question.
7:15 a.m.: Trump takes swipes at the media in morning tweets
Trump took multiple swipes at the media in morning tweets, including complaining about punctuation used in a CNN report that mentioned a derogatory term he used for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).
âTo show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddleâ, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddleâ Adam Schiff,â Trump wrote on Twitter, misspelling describing. âLow ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!â
Trump in fact used an apostrophe, not a hyphen.
In another tweet, he took issue with a story by Peter Baker of the New York Times and declared that he âshould not even be allowed to write about me.â
7 a.m.: White House spokesman decries those who gave information to whistleblower
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley denounced leaks coming from the White House, calling them âdangerous,â and questioned the motives of those who provided information to the whistleblower.
During an appearance on Fox Newsâs âFox & Friends,â Gidley was asked about Trumpâs remarks Thursday morning to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in which he dismissed the complaint against him from the intelligence community whistleblower and suggested that the personâs actions made him or her âclose to a spy.â
âHe was talking about the people who actually gave the information to the whistleblower,â Gidley claimed.
The whistleblower said the complaint was based on information from more than a half dozen U.S. officials.
Gidley noted that transcripts of previous Trump calls with the leaders of Australia and Mexico had also been leaked to the press.
âThese leaks are dangerous,â he said, adding that he was not sure why they have happened.
âDo they just want to bolster their own careers or get invited to the cocktail parties here in D.C.?â he asked.
During the same interview, Gidley insisted that no one in the White House is concerned about the revelations in the whistleblower report.
âNo one Iâve talked to is concerned at all about this because there is nothing there,â he said. âNo one in the White House is concerned about this because the president has done nothing wrong.â
6:45 a.m.: Democrats rip Trumpâs âthreateningâ comments against whistleblower
Someone laughed loudly during the closed-door speech President Trump gave at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on Thursday. Other voices spoke in hushed murmurs.
Trump had just demanded to know who provided a whistleblower with information about his call with the Ukrainian president, describing that person as âclose to a spyâ and adding: âYou know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now.â
Trumpâs comments, which were included in leaked video obtained by The Washington Post and others, have sparked intense backlash, with top Democrats decrying his words as âthreateningâ and defending the whistleblower at the center of a new push for impeachment.
âHe sounds like a criminal,â Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a presidential primary candidate, told MSNBC on Thursday night. ââWho snitched? Who gave up the goods? Letâs find out who gave up the goods on us and make sure thereâs a consequence and itâs serious, and let that be a lesson to everybody else.ââ
6:30 a.m.: Nearly 300 former officials call Trumpâs actions concerning Ukraine âprofound national security concernâ
Nearly 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials have signed a statement warning that Trumpâs actions regarding Ukraine are a âprofound national security concernâ and supporting an impeachment inquiry by Congress to determine âthe facts.â
âTo be clear, we do not wish to prejudge the totality of the facts or Congressâ deliberative process,â said the statement, released Friday. âAt the same time, there is no escaping that what we already know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings.â
The collection of signatures was set in motion by National Security Action, an organization founded and largely populated by officials from the Obama administration to call attention to Trumpâs âreckless leadership.â
Many of the signers are former Obama officials. But the list includes others who served as career officials in both Democratic and Republican administrations, including Matthew Olsen, head of the Justice Departmentâs national security division under President George W. Bush and director of the National Counterterrorism Center under President Barack Obama.
6 a.m.: âEnough is enough with this guy,â says Sen. Bernie Sanders
Echoing other Democratic White House hopefuls, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lambasted Trump during an appearance Thursday night on âThe Late Show With Stephen Colbertâ during which he also called the president a âspoiled brat.â
âHeâs probably the most corrupt president in the modern history of this country,â Sanders said, prompting applause from the studio audience. âI think this Ukrainian business â using national security money designed to protect the people of America and use that as leverage to try to get dirt on a political opponent, and then trying to cover that up â this is an outrage on top of an outrage. And I think this is kind of taking millions of people to say, âYou know what? Enough is enough with this guy. â â
Sanders went on to say that he doesnât think Trump âknows the difference between lying and truth-telling.â
âI doubt very much that he understands what the Constitution of the United States of America is about,â Sanders said. âI donât think he understands that we have an emoluments clause which says you cannot enrich yourself when youâre president. I donât know that he understands that. He grew up as a very rich kid. I think heâs a spoiled brat, and I think he thinks he can do anything that he wants to do.â