‘Another fantasy!’ Donald Trump blasts ‘pious’ Adam Schiff for ‘parody’ during whistle-blower hearing where he fictionalized president telling Ukrainian counterpart: ‘I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent’
Donald Trump returned to Washington with guns blazing Thursday afternoon, punching at a senior Democrat for a morning congressional hearing in which he performed a dramatic but fictionalized reading of a controversial July phone call between the president and his Ukrainian counterpart.
‘Another witch hunt, here we go again. It’s Adam Schiff and his crew making up stories and sitting there like pious – whatever you want to call them,’ Trump told reporters on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
‘The Democrats are going to lose the election, they know it. That’s why they’re doing it,’ he said of an intensifying drumbeat of hearings and investigations.
Trump was responding to what House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called a ‘parody’ of the now-publicly dissected phone call. Schiff had recited during the hearing a creative interpretation of the call – which bore little resemblance to a transcript released Wednesday.
‘This is the essence of what the president communicates: “We’ve been very good to your country, very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you’d better listen good”,’ Schiff acted.
‘”I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it. On this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, not just any people. I’m going to put you in touch with the attorney general of the United States, my attorney general Bill Barr. He’s got the whole weight of the American law enforcement behind him. And I’m going to put you in touch with Rudy. You’re going to love him. Trust me”,’ Schiff’s fictionalized Trump says.
‘”You know what I’m asking, and so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways. And by the way, don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you have done what I asked”.’
As Trump descended through the clouds on Air Force One, with the hearing still in progress, he tweeted: ‘Adam Schiff has zero credibility. Another fantasy to hurt the Republican Party!’
Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner said later as he questioned the star witness, acting Director of National Intelligence Robert Maguire, that ‘while the chairman was speaking, I actually had someone text me: “Is he just making this up?”‘
‘And yes, yes he was,’ Turner said. ‘Because sometimes fiction is better than the actual words.’
New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik mocked Schiff later, quoting a document and saying: ‘I’m not going to improvise for parody purposes like the chairman of this committee did.’
Schiff later smirked through a passive-aggressive walkback, saying that he had only been joking.
‘My summary of the president’s call was meant to be, at least part, in parody,’ he announced after a Republican complained that he had put false words in the president’s mouth.
‘The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself,’ he jabbed.