CNN anchor Dana Bash confronted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday over allegations that he politicized intelligence information when he chaired the House Intelligence Committee.
Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy unceremoniously booted Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee. McCarthy explained that Schiff's past conduct — allegedly politicizing intelligence access — meant his position on the committee, which receives access to national secrets that other members of Congress do not, could threaten national security.
What happened on CNN?
On "State of the Union," Bash challenged Schiff over a completely unsubstantiated claim he made about Donald Trump and Russia collusion.
"You said that there was direct evidence of the fact that Donald Trump colluded with Russia back in 2016," Bash noted.
The CNN host then quoted directly from special counsel Robert Mueller's report, exposing the glaring contradiction between what Schiff promised and what Mueller found (or didn't find). The report said, "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government."
Schiff, however, was not contrite.
The California Democrat claimed that Mueller issued "no conclusion on whether Donald Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians" before reasserting, all these years later, that there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.
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When Schiff tried to move on, remarking that "this is only one of a shifting series of rationalizations and pretexts that McCarthy is using" against him, Bash quickly lobbed yet another allegation against him.
"Let me give you another," she said. "Ahead of the first Trump impeachment, you said the committee had not spoken to a whistle-blower. "In fact, that turned out not to be true," Bash pointed out, explaining that even the Washington Post fact-checked his claim and ruled it false.
Schiff responded by admitting that he "should have been more clear," but still defended himself and claimed there exists no real reason for him to be removed from the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff claimed McCarthy is retaliating against him because he has been "very effective in exposing [McCarthy's] misconduct."
Schiff did not elaborate on that accusation.
Instead, he repeatedly charged that McCarthy's decision is a "pretext" against Democrats because he is "so reliant" on support from "extreme members" of the House Republican caucus.
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