Schiff 'flattered' by Trump's attacks over Ukraine probe

Donald Trump and Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the Democrats’ point people on impeachment, got into a war of words Thursday.

Moments after acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified about his handling of a whistleblower complaint against Trump, Schiff told reporters on Capitol Hill that it was “hard to imagine a more serious set of allegations than those contained in the complaint,” which deals with the president’s attempts to enlist the government of Ukraine in gathering damaging information about Joe Biden, his potential political rival.

Schiff said his committee would continue to investigate the president through a 14-day recess scheduled to begin on Friday.

“We need to look into the allegation that this may not be the only communication of a potentially corrupt character that was shielded by this classified information computer system, abused for that purpose,” Schiff said, referring to allegations that records of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were sequestered on a super-secure server rather than the one ordinarily used for such purposes.

Republicans on the committee disputed Schiff’s description of the July 25 conversation between Trump and Zelensky. “This is the essence of what the president communicates,” Schiff said. “We’ve been very good to your country, very good, no other country has done as much as we have, but you know that. I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you, though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good.”

RELATED: Rep. Adam Schiff

11 PHOTOS
Rep. Adam Schiff
See Gallery
Rep. Adam Schiff
U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ranking member Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speak with the media about the ongoing Russia investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA) reacts to Committee Chairman Devin Nunes statements about surveillance of U.S. President Trump and his staff as well as his visit to the White House, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at a town hall meeting on healthcare reform in Alhambra, California, August 11, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES HEALTH POLITICS)
Ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) (R) speak during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election campaign on March 20, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks during a news conference discussing Russian sanctions on Capitol Hill February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Adam Schiff arrives at the 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/WireImage)
GLENDALE, CA - OCTOBER 07: Congressman Adam Schiff poses with guests at the HAAS Spine And Orthopaedics Official Opening Reception held at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics Center on October 7, 2016 in Glendale, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 27: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., walks through the crowd on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Republicans have tried to keep the focus off the investigation, and public attention on the absence of an explicit quid pro quo between Trump and Zelensky. Schiff’s remarks indicate he believes the offer was implicit.

Democrats have also begun to make the argument that seeking help for his reelection from a foreign government is an impeachable offense by Trump, whether or not it was part of an explicit exchange.

As Schiff spoke to reporters, Trump took to Twitter where he echoed the criticism from many Republicans that Schiff and the Democrats were concocting a story to damage his presidency.

Seconds after the tweet appeared, Schiff, who was still answering questions from reporters, was asked to respond to it.

“I’m always flattered when I’m attacked by someone of the president’s character,” Schiff responded.

As Schiff’s exchange with the press concluded, the New York Times reported that Trump told staff members that he wanted to learn the identity of the whistleblower, saying that person was “close to a spy.” Schiff, in turn, responded with a tweet of his own.

Download the Yahoo News app to customize your experience.

Read more from Yahoo News:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.