Nancy Pelosi Defends Adam Schiff for His Made-Up Version of President Donald Trump’s Phone Call

The two California Democrats in the House are apparently sticking together

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This latest update on the House Democrats’ rush toward what they hope is the impeachment of President Donald Trump involves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — and it’s already raising eyebrows.

So will she come to regret her Thursday morning statements in the not-too-distant future?

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has been heavily criticized for making up and reading his own “parody” version of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Schiff read that version during a televised hearing on Capitol Hill last week — and now Pelosi has backed Schiff, declaring he didn’t embellish the facts at all.

Schiff — as millions of Americans know and have been following — “performed” a dramatization of Trump’s call during the hearing at which his House Intelligence Committee hosted Joseph Maguire, acting director of National Intelligence, last week.

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Related: Schiff Riffs: California Democrat Makes Up His Own Dialogue for Trump Phone Call

The California Democrat, in other words, improvised his own version of the written transcript for dramatic effect — then later, when he was called out for it, tried to excuse it as a “parody” version.

“I want the American people to know what that phone call was about,” declared Pelosi on Thursday during a “Good Morning America” interview on ABC News.

“I want them to hear it. So, yeah, [Schiff’s parody version is] fair,” she also said in this exclusive interview.

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“It’s sad, but it’s using the president’s own words,” she maintained.

But ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos pushed back on Pelosi’s statement: “Those weren’t the president’s words. It was an interpretation of the president’s words,” said Stephanapoulos. “They’re saying he made this up.”

Pelosi kept pushing her point. “He did not make it up,” she replied. “Look, I want to tell you something,” she added, trying to redirect the conversation, clearly. “When I took the oath of office to support and defend the Constitution, as my colleagues have done as well, I did not say, ‘I will do this as long as the Republicans can understand the Constitution.’ So the fact that their loyalty is to Trump and not the Constitution is not going to slow down or impair our ability to keep the Republic.”

In related news this week, a spokesman for Schiff acknowledged on Wednesday that the so-called whistleblower who is alleging misconduct at the White House reached out to Schiff’s House panel first before filing a complaint — prompting Trump, during a press conference, to accuse Schiff of helping write the document, as Fox News and other outlets reported.

Related: Schiff Knew About the Whistleblower Complaint Early On

“It shows that Schiff is a fraud,” said Trump, in part, on Wednesday.

“I think it’s a scandal that he knew before,” the president also said, as the leader of Finland stood closely beside him, at his own podium.

“I’d go a step further,” added Trump, clearly charged up about the latest developments. “I’d say he probably helped write it … That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it, too. It’s a scam.”

He also at one point referred to the congressman as “Shifty Schiff,” and said the current push on an impeachment inquiry is part of a “fraudulent crime on the American people.”

Much of this is why Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, told “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on the Fox Business Network early this week, “You’re surprised that he [Adam Schiff] is once again … conspiring to level false charges against the president of the United States? The guy who claimed that he had direct evidence of Russian collusion, lied to the American people [for two years or more] as part of the other conspiracy to frame? That’s why we’re considering a lawsuit,” added Giuliani, “with him as one of the principal defendants, individually.”

Added Giuliani, “Remember, he doesn’t have immunity when he’s off the floor of the Congress. And his statement about having this evidence of Russian collusion was made to a reporter. There’s a case — a Supreme Court case — that says, yes, say it in Congress, you’re immune. You put it in a press release, you’re liable like anybody else.”

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He also said, “We are considering a lawsuit to vindicate the constitutional rights of the president, the president’s administration, to also remedy the — they’re trampling on the civil rights of many, many people.”

As Fox News noted earlier in the day, “The whirlwind day in Washington kicked into gear when The New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that Schiff ‘learned about the outlines’ of the whistleblower’s complaint ‘days before’ it was filed.”

“Schiff’s office denied [to Fox News] that the intelligence committee had reviewed or received the complaint in advance, but largely confirmed The Times’ reporting.”

Steve Guest of the Republican National Committee, in an emailed message on Wednesday afternoon, shared the following: “This report is yet another nail in the coffin of the Democrats’ bogus impeachment charade and further proof that this Ukraine sham is a disingenuous and orchestrated smear campaign led by Adam Schiff. By getting an early account of the whistleblower’s complaint, Schiff knew what to expect in the complaint and he was able to shape his phony narrative for his benefit.”

At a joint news conference early on Wednesday in D.C., before the above information was made public, both Pelosi and Schiff made statements on the hot topic of the impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi was there, as part of her weekly press conference, to discuss the phone call Trump held with the Ukraine president — and why the impeachment inquiry she’s moving forward with is very “serious” and very important.

“It’s a very serious challenge  … It’s very sad,” she said, as LifeZette reported earlier.

“I don’t see impeachment as a unifying thing for our country,” she also said.

Said Schiff at one point, “It’s hard to imagine a more corrupt [action]” on the part of Trump.

He talked about the July phone call and the president’s comments and actions after that call came to light.

“What was the State Department’s role? … What was the role of the attorney general?” he said, adding that Congress wants to understand “the president’s misconduct.”

“There seems to be no floor below which this president can drop,” he also declared.

“In that telephone call, the president undermined our national security,” alleged Pelosi, adding that the “sequencing” of events by the president is important related to any funding aimed for Ukraine.

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“Using that as leverage … Undermining our national security, undermining his oath of office … because he was overthrowing an act of Congress just on his own … undermining the integrity of our elections,” she added.

She also said he’s “stooping” to low levels.

“This is sad. We have to be prayerful. We have to be worthy [of] the Constitution. We have to be fair to the president … and give him a chance to exonerate himself … But he thinks what he did was perfect, so we have that situation.”

The White House responded that all of this action is a waste of time and a distraction for the country.

“All the talk of impeachment is now driving the stock market lower,” said Trump in a tweet.

He also shared other responses to the press conference remarks on impeachment by the two Democrats.

“It is just camouflage for trying to win an election through impeachment,” he tweeted — then said the impeachment inquiry was “bull****.”

“The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone’s time and energy on bull****, which is what they have been doing ever since I got overwhelmingly elected in 2016, 223-306. Get a better candidate this time, you’ll need it!” Trump tweeted with force.

Pelosi tried to talk about health care, drug prices and more — and used her opening time to try to focus on that. The press conference, though, quickly moved to the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

See the below — and share your thoughts on all of this.


meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. 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.

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