On Sunday morning House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) attempted to blow off questions by CNN’s Jake Tapper over whether President Donald Trump was trying to intimidate former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch with a tweet during her testimony, choosing instead to attack committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for wanting to impeach the president.
Following a long interview where the State of the Union host had to correct the Ohio Republican’s assertions multiple times — with Tapper once flatly stating “That’s not true” — the CNN host asked about Trump’s tweets that were immediately characterized as witness intimidation.
“President Trump was attacking Ambassador Yovanavitch-apparently blaming her for what happened in Somalia and Ukraine and other places,” Tapper began. “Chairman Schiff read her the tweet during the hearing, I’m sure she would have read it during the break anyway. She said she found it intimidating. Does it concern you at all that a witness found what President Trump tweeted to be intimidating?”
“Well, I mean, Jake, I think along with most people, I find the president’s tweets generally unfortunate,” he replied. “But let’s state this: I think what’s important about this is that is that Adam Schiff has been on a three-year request to impeach the president. He replaced the staff — he changed the staff so it became an impeachment staff, for three years, he’s been pursuing it.”
“It’s kind of laughable that in the middle of the hearing, he reads a witness a tweet that she’s, up until that point, unaware of and said I have another reason to impeach the president — he’s had reasons for three years,” he added.
“I get you don’t like Congressman Schiff,” Tapper replied.
With Turner asserting he didn’t see any intimidation at all, an incredulous Tapper broke in to ask, “If a witness says she’s intimidated, how is it not witness intimidation?”
“Well, there’s a difference between ‘I feel intimidated, I’m intimidated to testify’ which is what Schiff was saying,” Murphy bizarrely explained. “Clearly she testified completely and fully, hopefully you watched it. I was there. She was in no means intimidated and prevented from testimony.”
“Just like you’re not a mind reader, I’m not a mind reader,” Tapper offered back. “I have no idea whether it affected her testimony if she said she found it intimidating. Is it not possible she held back or shaded her answers because she didn’t want to upset the most powerful person in the universe any further? Is that not possible?”
“Well, I think you overstate Donald Trump’s powers,” Turner replied.