In a new Los Angeles Times report, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) discussed his first time meeting Donald Trump as president and their bizarre Oval Office encounter that included Trump sharing classified information.
In late March, Schiff, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, came to the White House at the president’s behest to “view classified documents that Trump said would help prove his claim that President Obama had ordered wiretaps at Trump Tower”.
According to the Times, the documents Trump intended to show Schiff were the same he showed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) two weeks prior in yet another bizarre White House meeting. It was all above-board — until Schiff’s staff director, who is well-known for attending all of the representative’s meetings, was initially barred from entering White House grounds.
After Schiff’s staff director, Michael Bahar, was eventually let onto the grounds, Schiff received another piece of strange news: that the president wished to speak with him in the Oval Office.
“The president got up from behind his desk and shook hands and said ‘hello’. He was very personable and said I did a good job,” Schiff told the Times. “He said, ‘Are you getting everything you need?’ and I said, ‘Well, no, actually I’m not.’”
After telling Trump about his staff director’s barring from the meeting, Trump reportedly said he “didn’t have any problem with the entire committee seeing the records” — a comment that drew audible groans from Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, and other aides at the meeting.
Trump eventually consulted with his team about their displeasure, but “ultimately allowed all of the intelligence committee staff directors to view the material”. But when Schiff headed to the National Security Council to view the documents with his staff director, Bahar was once again barred.
“I said, ‘Well, you really want to turn me away? You’re the ones who invited me. You’re the ones who advertised that I was coming here,’” Schiff told the Times. “He characterized it as an objection from the intelligence agencies, which I knew was not the case. I said, ‘Call the agencies.’”
According to the report, Schiff and Bahar were allowed to view the documents “a short time later”, but the California Congressman has declined to share what he saw in those documents.
Read the entire report on Schiff’s bizarre White House meeting via the Times.