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In light of President Trump’s refusal to reveal the Democratic memo intended as a rebuttal to the GOP’s Nunes memo, Rep. Adam Schiff made a startling remark on HBO’s Real Time during an interview with Bill Maher on Friday night.
“Had Fox News existed and been essentially the state-run TV during the Nixon era, there might not have been an impeachment of Richard Nixon,” he said.
Schiff, the Democrat representative for the state of California who drafted the Democratic memo, appeared on Real Time to discuss the “misleading” situation. The Nunes memo alleged the FBI was biased in the investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Trump okayed the release of said memo, though the FBI released a statement saying it omitted key information that “fundamentally” impacted the memo’s accuracy. When it came to the Democratic rebuttal, however, “the White House apparently [had] a newfound admiration for the FBI” and refused its release, Schiff remarked.
“The problem is this, and this is why we urge Republicans not to go down this road,” he explained, “they wrote this deliberately misleading memo that omitted all the important information the reader needed to know, and when we supplied the material facts, it’s just like, ‘Oh no, we can’t share the facts because that would be disclosing too much information.’”
When asked by Maher how he can win on the facts “in an era where facts don’t matter to people anymore,” Schiff brought up Fox News and how he perceived the network’s effect on the populous.
“Among the most difficult to deal with is the fact that people now simply get their information from different sources,” he said. “There is this whole echo chamber that supports whatever the president says. What I find so astounding about the last year is how much this deeply flawed president could remake an entire political party in his own image, but that’s what’s happened so quickly,” Schiff added. “And probably the most distressing thing about that for me is not what a poor president Trump turned out to be, which we could easily foresee, but rather — well, okay, we underestimated even that, but still — the real shock is how many people in Congress and in the party would be complicit in that.”
Schiff said he was surprised by how few people on the Republican side were willing to speak out against Trump’s actions and “defend our institutions, to defend our First Amendment.” “But no,” he said. “And what we are seeing is the problem when you have someone who lacks character in the Oval Office, it infects the whole of government. It’s infected our Committee. That’s what produced this flawed memo to begin with.”
Watch Schiff’s full interview in the video above.