Politics

Schiff Riffs: California Democrat Makes Up Own Dialogue for Trump-Zelensky Call

Why would a lawmaker engage in a parody of a president's conversation?

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (shown above left), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, on Thursday morning came under fire after he read aloud his own “parody” version of President Donald Trump’s private July telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, without first indicating to all those around him that he — Schiff — was making it up.

The act had many people shaking their heads in shock and wonder.

The setting was a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday, at which Joseph Maguire, acting director of National Intelligence, appeared before members of Congress in order to defend his handling of a so-called whistleblower complaint alleging that the president pressured his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the Biden family’s activities for political purposes.

Trump on Wednesday already released the full transcript of that July 25 phone call — which shows he did nothing of the kind.

However, the complaint contains allegations related to that Trump phone call, when he — the president — said Ukraine might investigate alleged corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden — corruption activities that go back several years.

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But Schiff’s ill-advised “parody” was “exaggerated, apparently for dramatic effect,” as Fox News and other outlets pointed out.

“I have a favor I want from you,” Schiff said on live television, while appearing to mimic Trump’s words and seemingly reading from a printed piece of paper. “And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it, on this and on that,” said Schiff as part of his parody.

Schiff later said his fictional summary was a “joke.”

“My summary of the president’s call was meant to be at least part in parody,” Schiff said in reply to several allegations that he misquoted the transcript, as the Washington Examiner pointed out. “The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself. Of course, the president never said, ‘If you don’t understand me, I’m going to say it seven more times.’ My point is that’s the message that the Ukraine president was receiving, in not so many words.”

See these tweets about Schiff’s actions on Thursday.

Is it any surprise that President Trump on Thursday morning called the current process and investigation “another witch hunt … Really a disgrace, a terrible thing for our country”?

He shared those thoughts on Thursday morning just ahead of his arrival back at the White House after his trip to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for his part, on Wednesday cut through the noise and said bluntly, “Democrats have lost their minds.”

The South Carolina senator was referring to congressional Democrats’ latest efforts to try to kick President Donald Trump out of the office he was duly elected to because of the phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky back in July of this year.

Trump wanted full transparency. He made the transcript available to Congress and to the American public.

During that phone call in late July, Trump — concerned about corruption — asked the president of Ukraine to look into the scandals involving the Biden family.

And why wouldn’t he? Former Vice President Joe Biden had bragged on camera last year about withholding money from Ukraine unless a certain prosecutor was fired — a prosecutor who was looking into questionable activities by his own son’s company.

“Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that, when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Shokin himself had been separately and widely accused of corruption,” as Fox News articulated.

Related: Biased News Anchor Cuts Off Trump, Says He Wasn’t Telling the Truth

President Zelensky — unlike what Democrats claimed — clearly there was no “quid pro quo” on that phone call with Trump back in July.

There was no threat of withholding any aid to the country.

Now, in addition to receiving the full transcript of a White House phone call that President Trump made, Democrats insisted on hosting Joseph Maguire in a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday morning.

They also demanded the full complaint of the whistleblower complaint. The so-called whistleblower did not hear the Trump phone call himself or herself — but apparently heard about it only secondhand or perhaps even third-hand.

It’s very possible this whistleblower had — and still has — political bias against this president.

Steve Guest of the Republican National Committee noted on Thursday morning in an emailed message, “If there was any doubt about the political leanings of this so-called whistleblower, his lawyer worked for Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and donated to Joe Biden.”

“So, while the media gets spun up on a document that amounts to nothing more than a game of telephone, the media will ignore a damning report about Joe Biden’s family’s corrupt business practices that was published this morning in Politico.”

Related: Ukraine President: ‘Nobody Pushed Me’

Sen. Graham of South Carolina slammed the efforts by Democrats to impeach Trump in the wake of the July phone call, as BizPac Review and other outlets have noted.

The Republican was reacting to the White House’s release of the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky, telling reporters it would be “insane” to use the contents of that call against Trump.

“From my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane,” Graham said on Wednesday.

He then addressed the obvious conflict of interest for former Vice President Joe Biden in the Ukraine controversy — while calling out the double standard.

“Joe Biden is a very good friend, but we can’t have a country where one side gets looked at and the other one does not,” Graham added.

“I can assure you that if any Republican family member was engaged in conduct like this, they would raise questions,” he later said.

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LifeZette's Editor-in-Chief Maureen Mackey helped launch the site and previously served as managing editor. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary. She can be reached at [email protected].

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