House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California is claiming that a comment from President Donald Trump during a Tuesday media session was a threat against him.
On Tuesday, Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales spoke to the media at the White House.
After talking about efforts to reduce the flow of migrants from Central American across America’s Southern Border, Trump was asked about the House impeachment vote, which took place the next day.
“It’s a total sham when you have a guy like Shifty Schiff go out and make up a statement that I’ve made. He said, ‘This is what he said.’ But I never said it. He totally made it up,” Trump said.
Then came the comment that made Schiff panic.
“In Guatemala, they handle things much more diff- — much tougher than that,” Trump said.
Trump then made it clear there was nothing that could be done.
“And because of immunity — he has House immunity — because of immunity, he can’t be prosecuted. He — he took a statement and totally made it up. It was a lie. It was a fraud. And you just can’t do those things. So, you know, look, this has been a total sham from the beginning. Everybody knows it,” Trump said.
When CNN asked Schiff about Trump’s comments, the long-time Trump antagonist called it a “veiled threat.”
“This is a president, after all, who has said of people who blow the whistle on him that they’re traitors and spies and should be treated as traitors and spies used to be — We used to execute traitors and spies,” Schiff said. “This is not a president above threatening anyone who gets in his way.”
Schiff said the comment was a reference to Guatemala’s violent history, adding “He is not going to intimidate me.”
“I think it was quite deliberately designed to be a threat, and this is the president’s modus operandi,” he said. “I’m not the first person he’s made a veiled threat about, I won’t be the last. But this is precisely the kind of conduct Americans should not accept in the Oval Office.”
On Thursday, a day after the House vote against him, Trump was upbeat about the future, according to a White House media pool report.
“Well, I don’t feel like I’m being impeached, because it’s a hoax. It’s a setup. It’s a horrible thing they did. They happened to have a small majority, and they took that small majority and they forced people. And, you know, they said, ‘Oh…’ I watched Pelosi out there saying, ‘Oh, no. We don’t want to talk to anybody.’ They put the arm on everybody. They tried to get them to do what they had to do,” he said.
‘But it doesn’t feel — to me, it doesn’t feel like impeachment. Last night, I said it — I — we had a great time last night. The room was packed. Thousands of people couldn’t get in. A section that, really, is a pretty much 50-50 section, in terms of Democrat-Republican, we had — every one of those people is voting for Trump/Pence. Every one of them. And it’s Michigan — an important state. We brought back tremendous amounts of business, tremendous car companies coming in — everything else,” Trump said.
“And I’ll tell you, I was up there and I was thinking about — I actually said it: It doesn’t feel like impeachment. And you know what? It’s a phony deal. And they cheapened the word ‘impeachment.’ It’s an ugly word. But they cheapened the word ‘impeachment.’ That should never again happen to another President.”
Looking ahead at the 2020 election, and referencing Vice President Mike Pence, Trump said, “They like Trump, and they like Mike. And we’re going to have a good time.”
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