Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., shot back at President Trump after he declared that the House Intelligence Committee memo outlining alleged abuses of surveillance authority by the U.S. government "totally vindicates" him in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia inquiry.
"Quite the opposite, Mr. President," Schiff said in reply to Trump's tweet Saturday morning.
Schiff, who is the ranking member of the intelligence panel, said the "most important fact" from the "otherwise shoddy memo was that FBI investigation began July 2016 with your advisor, Papadopoulos, who was secretly discussing stolen Clinton emails with the Russians."
Quite the opposite, Mr. President. The most important fact disclosed in this otherwise shoddy memo was that FBI investigation began July 2016 with your advisor, Papadopoulos, who was secretly discussing stolen Clinton emails with the Russians. https://t.co/2rGOE1jGg2— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 3, 2018
He was referring to foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in October to charges brought against him by Mueller in his investigation about him lying to federal officials about his contacts with Kremlin-linked Russians.
The memo concedes that the FBI began its formal investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016 because Papadopoulos, and not the salacious and largely unverified "Trump dossier," authored by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.
Schiff, who along with his fellow Democrats and the FBI, opposed the release of the House Intelligence memo, put together by staff at the direction of Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Trump's decision Friday to allow the public disclosure of "a misleading memo attacking DOJ & FBI is a transparent attempt to discredit these institutions and undermine Mueller’s probe."
He also said Democrats will continue to "fight to release our classified response," which is a rebuttal memo that the House Intelligence Committee has yet to approve to be released to the public.