Schiff Embarrasses Trump During Fiery ‘CBS Sunday’ Appearance


Among other long-standing consequences of President Donald Trump’s belligerence, the United States and world are still facing the wreck that he made with his recent abruptly ordered assassination of top Iranian General and political leader Qassem Soleimani. The president and his allies have insisted that intelligence depicted an imminent threat to American interests that could be thwarted by Soleimani’s assassination — but during an appearance this weekend on CBS, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) asserted that’s simply not true.

Discussing recent briefings for Congress about the situation from high-ranking individuals in the Trump administration, Schiff explained:

‘In the view of the briefers, there was plotting, there was an effort to escalate being planned — but they didn’t have specificity, and so when you hear the president out there on Fox, he is fudging the intelligence. And when you hear the secretary say that isn’t what the intelligence said, but that is my personal belief — he is fudging. When Secretary Pompeo… made the claim that the intelligence analysis was that taking Soleimani out would improve our security and leaving him in would make us less safe — that is also fudging. That’s not an intelligence conclusion. That is Pompeo’s personal opinion.’


Indeed — as Schiff pointed out, in an interview with Laura Ingraham that aired last Friday on Fox, the president himself claimed that there were attacks being planned on four U.S. embassies in the Middle East, but — no matter the specificity of that claim! — there’s no evidence supporting that idea. During his own time on Sunday morning news shows, Defense Secretary Mark Esper (the second secretary who Schiff mentions) brazenly admitted that he never actually saw any evidence depicting an imminent, planned attack on four embassies. That’s a gravely serious accusation — but it’s unsupported.

Schiff continued:

‘Frankly, I think what they are doing is overstating and exaggerating what the intelligence shows… I think he’s just plain wrong.’

That scenario leaves nothing but the whims of a narcissistic president and his enablers driving the country, even into potentially deadly violence. Thousands of troops were mobilized for the Middle East following the spike in tension after Soleimani’s assassination. These thousands of people were prepared for harm’s way on the basis of the personal opinion of the president and those, like Esper and Pompeo, who are willing to enable Trump’s behavior.

Esper tried to rope Schiff himself into an excuse for the administration’s lack of evidence, but Schiff kicked that explanation to the curb. The Defense Secretary had claimed that just Congressional leaders got the relevant intel about the supposed imminent embassy attacks, but Schiff said:

‘There was no discussion in the Gang of Eight briefings that these are four embassies that are being targeted and we have exquisite intelligence that shows these are the specific targets… The briefing was much more along the lines of we don’t know precisely where and we don’t know precisely when.’

That’s the explanation that Pompeo has used for the nature of the threat that he’s claimed was imminent — but something happening somewhere at some point doesn’t exactly equal an imminent threat. Yet, the president has proceeded anyway.