‘He won’t respond at this point’: Schiff says his relationship with Nunes ‘degraded’ over Trump-Russia probe
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Wednesday told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Dunes (R-CA) has no responded to multiple requests to reschedule the planned public testimony of former Directer of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA chief John Brennan and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
The trio was expected to testify in public session on Tuesday, but Nunes abruptly cancelled the hearing without explaining his reasoning behind it. The move came a week after Nunes alleged that new information indicated President Donald Trump and his associates may have been incidentally surveilled by U.S. intelligence officials. The House Intelligence Committee chairman obtained that information during a clandestine meeting on White House grounds, prompting critics to question whether the source of his information was someone in the White House.
Discussing Nunes’ bizarre behavior with Blitzer, Schiff noted the House Intel chairman is dodging fellow Democrats on the committee, noting he “won’t share” the source of his information “not just with democrats … but with his own committee.”
“What are we to make of this?” Schiff asked, adding the source of Nunes’ information “does not sound like a whistle blower.”
Schiff revealed members of the committee “have asked the chair to reschedule” the interview with Clapper, Brennan and Yates.
“He won’t respond at this point,” Schiff told Blitzer.
The CNN host asked Schiff if he’s “talking with Devin Nunes?” Schiff noted the pair—who have previously been close—have not spoken in light of Nunes’ actions, adding the shif tin their relationship has been “very tough.”
“I can’t overlook if the chairman of committee is going to freelance in this way,” Schiff said.
The California Democrat iterated calls for a separate investigation, arguing they’re “going to need someone else to preside over this” if they can’t restore faith in the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff noted the problems with Nunes’ actions are two-fold. One, that the information he obtained has “only been shared with one member,” and two whether it was legal for Nunes to publicly discuss the material in the manner he did.
Schiff also argued the only thing that explains Nunes’ refusal to share the information is that it “really doesn’t show what it’s being purported to show.”
The ranking member called Nunes’ actions “deeply disappointing,” adding there was “no reason to delay the hearing we had scheduled last week.” He also noted that “before the degradation of [their] relationship,” he and Nunes agreed to make as much information public as possible.
Watch the interview below, via CNN: