Rep. Adam Schiff says Trump 'acts like he's compromised' by Russia

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday that President Trump is “acting like someone who’s compromised” by the Russian government.

Rep. Adam Schiff said that Trump’s behavior at a much-criticized summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin gives the impression that the Russians have dirt on them that they’re holding over his head, though he does not have direct knowledge of any compromising information.

“There’s no ignoring the fact that for whatever reason, this President acts like he’s compromised,” Schiff (D-Calif.) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “There is simply no other way to explain why he would side with this Kremlin former KGB officer rather than his own intelligence agencies, why he would continually attack NATO.”

RELATED: President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland

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President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16, 2018: The national flags of Russia and the United States seen ahead of a meeting of Russia's President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) (L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife Jenni Haukio pose for a photo during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Kremlin Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin give a joint news conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin react at the end of the joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and First lady Melania Trump pose for a picture with a football during a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US First Lady Melania Trump, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and US President Donald Trump (L-R) after a news conference at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump holds a football thrown to her by U.S. President Donald Trump during his joint news conference with Russia's President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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At the summit in Helsinki last week, Trump questioned American intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 American election and stressed the strength of Putin’s denial of involvement, saying “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that carried out the interference effort. He later claimed he misspoke.

“I certainly think he’s acting like someone who’s compromised, and it may very well be that he is compromised, or it may very well be that he believes that he’s compromised, that the Russians have information on him,” Schiff said.

He said that Democrats on the Intelligence Committee were blocked by the Republican majority from investigating the possibility that Russians had laundered money through Trump’s company, the Trump Organization.

“The Republicans wouldn’t allow us to go near that,” he said. “I hope that [special counsel] Bob Mueller’s investigating it, because again, if that’s the leverage the Russians are using, it would not only explain the President’s behavior, but it would help protect the country by knowing that in fact our president was compromised.”

When asked at the same press conference whether Russia had compromising information on Trump, Putin dismissed the idea as ridiculous but did not directly deny it.

Former Trump homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, also appearing on “This Week,” called it an “easy, cheap shot” to claim Trump is compromised by the Russians.

He said that despite Trump’s words, he has imposed the toughest sanctions in recent history on Russia.

“That’s a pain that President Putin feels,” Bossert said. “If he keeps acting tough, we’ll forgive some of his comments.”

But Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor during the Obama administration, said the sanctions were only imposed because Congress required it.

Trump’s performance in Helsinki was a “tragic display of sycohpancy,” she said.

She called it a “very serious mistake” for Trump to sit down one on one with Putin with no aides or note takers present, noting that even top intelligence officials and Cabinet members seem to have no idea what was agreed to in the meeting.

“What his motivations are, I think is a legitimate question, one that I trust the special counsel is investigating,” Rice said. “But the policies that this President has pursued globally have served Vladimir Putin’s interest in dividing the west, undermining democracy, increasing fissures within NATO and has done very little to advance U.S. interest.”

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