President Trump took to Twitter on Friday to try to undercut House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and complain about media coverage of ongoing investigations into possible coordination between his 2016 campaign and Russia.
In morning tweets, Trump pointed to an op-ed published in the Hill this week that raised questions about an encounter in the summer between Schiff, who has expanded his committee’s Russia investigation since becoming chairman, and a witness in the probe.
The piece, by journalist John Solomon, cites photographs taken at a July security conference in Aspen, Colo., of Schiff talking to Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, the research firm behind a dossier detailing allegations of Trump’s business and personal ties to Russia.
Spokesmen for Schiff and Simpson described the meeting as unplanned and brief and said nothing substantive was discussed — explanations Solomon suggests in his piece that he doesn’t believe.
“Now we find out that Adam Schiff was spending time together in Aspen with Glenn Simpson of GPS Fusion, who wrote the fake and discredited Dossier, even though Simpson was testifying before Schiff,” Trump wrote in one of his tweets.
Earlier this week, Trump derided Schiff as “a political hack” after learning that he was expanding his investigation to include scrutiny of “credible reports of money laundering and financial compromise” involving Trump’s businesses.
In other tweets Friday, Trump complained that the media had not devoted more attention to comments made in a CBS interview this week by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.).
Burr told CBS that “based on the evidence to date,” his committee could not definitively say there was coordination during the 2016 campaign between Trump and the Russians.
“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” Burr said.
Trump pointed to those comments in tweets Thursday night and again Friday morning.
“The mainstream media has refused to cover the fact that the head of the VERY important Senate Intelligence Committee, after two years of intensive study and access to Intelligence that only they could get, just stated that they have found NO COLLUSION between ‘Trump’ & Russia,” Trump wrote.
“It is all a GIANT AND ILLEGAL HOAX, developed long before the election itself, but used as an excuse by the Democrats as to why Crooked Hillary Clinton lost the Election!” he continued, referring to the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. “Someday the Fake News Media will turn honest & report that Donald J. Trump was actually a GREAT Candidate!”
Later Friday, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested the panel’s work product might not be so favorable for Trump.
“Looking forward to the tweets when Senate Intel releases its final report to the public,” Warner said on Twitter. “Likewise for the Mueller report. I’m sure in the interest of transparency, the President will want to make that public as well.”
Warner was referring to an expected report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whose investigation into the possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign remains ongoing.