WASHINGTON - Just three days after calling for cross-party unity in Washington, President Donald Trump on Friday again lashed out at House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, suggesting his sweeping probe of all things Trump is merely a partisan hit job.
The president used his Tuesday State of the Union address as a plea to Democrats to work with him and other Republicans to achieve legislative "greatness." But just 16 hours later, he mockingly slammed the California Democrat after Schiff announced the panel would investigate Trump's 2016 campaign, possible nefarious ties to Moscow and whether the former real estate mogul's potential interest in financial gain has influenced his decisions as chief executive.
Trump continued that attack Friday morning by alleging Schiff canoodled with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson during a recent security conference in Colorado, even though he is a witness in the Intelligence panel's probe.
"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 a tweet.
The dossier, however, has never been fully corroborated nor fully discredited - Despite the president's desire for, and political and legal interests in, the latter.
At issue is a dossier of information about Trump and his alleged ties to Russians that was compiled for research firm Fusion GPS by former British spy Christopher Steele. The firm had been hired by Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Simpson described the document as "a collection of field memoranda, of field interviews" in testimony before the senior staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee in August.
Trump, White House aides and many Republican lawmakers continue to raise doubts about the dossier's contents. Senate Judiciary member Lindsey Graham and others, for instance, have called on the Justice Department to name a second special counsel to investigate the actions of the Clinton campaign and Fusion GOP during the 2016 campaign.
In a second social media post, Trump accurately stated that Schiff has indicated the Intelligence Committee's initial probe - while it was overseen by Republicans before Democrats took over the House in January - found no Trump campaign-Russia "collusion." But he left out that Schiff and panel Democrats have criticized the GOP-run probe and said it was too limited to actually answer the collusion matter, leading him to re-start it.
Trump's Friday morning tweets again showed how the president and his legal team want to turn the various investigations of the 2016 election, his businesses and presidency into a public relations battle.
That's largely because Senate Republicans have given no indication they would vote to remove him from office - and that vote would only come if House Democrats impeached him, which that party's leaders remain reluctant to attempt.
Trump again called the various probes a collective "GIANT AND ILLEGAL HOAX ... used as an excuse by the Democrats as to why Crooked Hillary Clinton lost the Election!"
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