Top Intelligence Committee Democrat Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) called out President Donald Trump's lies about his chiefs of intelligence describing the coverage of their testimony as “fake news.”
"They said they were totally misquoted and they were totally — it was taken out of context," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "So, what I do, I suggested you call them. They said it was fake news."
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified before Congress that Russia is still involved in American elections, North Korea isn't going to denuclearize and he didn't even bring up the border.
The news prompted nearly two full days of stories about the president's tendency to ignore intelligence chiefs and opt for his own preferred reality instead.
"It just could not be more embarrassing for the president or for the country," Himes told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Thursday. "You know, Gina Haspel, director Coats, these are some of the most serious people out there, people who oversee other people, who risk their lives every single day. To trot them into the Oval Office for this photo shoot today during the intelligence briefing and then to have the president say that they said that it was fake news, that is not language that Gina or Director Coats uses."
Trump attacked the intel officials on Twitter, but then quickly pivoted Thursday, saying that he trusted the officials and all the reporting was fake news. There's an actual printed report and video disputing the president's preferred reality.
"He said go read the transcript. You don't need to. Look at the video of what they said!" Himes continued. "It's like watching a 4-year-old boy say what is evidently true to everybody else is not true. I think what is happening is the president is speaking to his base in which there is no objective reality except what President Trump says and also hoping to move on because, of course, this is not comfortable for Republicans in Congress to be asked the question, you know, who do you believe?"
Himes noted that it was only the day previously that Trump said these individuals needed to "go back to school."
....a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very c… https://t.co/mRkmWRRcKi— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1548856560.0
Blitzer asked to clarify if the congressman was, in fact, alleging that Trump invented the line from the press conference today.
"I know these people," Himes said. "There is no way that in the Oval Office they said, 'This is fake news. The media made this all up.' I can't imagine what they said. Can you imagine that moment? Again, these are very serious professionals, the most serious professionals we have in the United States government. There they are, with the president who told them that they need to go back to school and that he disagrees with them. There is no way on God's green Earth that the director of the CIA said, 'Oh, Mr. President, that was all fake news.' The president made that up."
Watch his comments below: