Adam Schiff Says Trump Views Racial Unrest, Russian Interference as Helpful to Campaign

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said President Donald Trump is "willfully fanning the flames" of racial unrest and violence because his campaign believes it helps his re-election chances.

Schiff said Congress may subpoena U.S. intelligence officials to testify on election interference, particularly over allegations Russia is stoking U.S. racial unrest, prior to the November election. He told CNN Sunday: "That is certainly one of the tools that we may use."

The California Democrat's remarks come after Trump's acting intelligence chief, Richard Grenell, didn't attend closed-door hearings out of concerns some Democratic lawmakers are leaking such information to the public.

Schiff said the Trump administration is looking to suppress intelligence on Russian interference because the president views malicious social media "false narratives" to inflame U.S. racial unrest as helpful to his 2020 campaign.

"What we can expect from the Russians and what the Russians are doing is that they exploited Black Lives Matter four years ago, they set up their own false flags on social media to try and divide people along racial lines," Schiff told CNN's Dana Bash.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar also both suggested the idea of issuing subpoenas to U.S. intelligence officials after the in-person were briefings were halted, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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"The president is willfully fanning the flames of this violence. As his own adviser Kellyanne Conway said last week, they believe the violence is helpful to them. And the president is only motivated by one thing: what is in it for him?" Schiff said. "He sees this violence — and his ability to agitate more of it — as useful to his campaign. What it does to the country, the loss of life, he doesn't care."

"[Trump] will stoke it through his social media, where he can, because he believes the violence helps him," Schiff added. "That is the sad and tragic truth about this, but also about the Trump presidency more generally."

Newsweek reached out to the White House and Schiff's office in Washington for additional remarks Sunday afternoon.

The House intelligence committee chairman responded to the fatal shooting of a man in Portland Saturday night amid clashes between a caravan of Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters. Schiff told CNN that Russia is helping to provoke racial unrest which is dividing the country — something, he said, Trump views as a positive force for his re-election campaign.

NBC News reported Sunday afternoon that FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials plan to continue in-person election security briefings to Congress — but not about any information directly tied to "nation-state adversaries."

Schiff rejected Trump's remarks last week that suggested he and other Democrats in Congress are leaking intelligence to the public, a defense the administration is using for the halt in in-person briefings. Instead, Schiff said Trump's "malignant narcissism" will lead him to try anything he views as beneficial to his re-election effort.

"He will try to send in federal, National Guard forces or otherwise, to try and aggravate [Portland unrest]," Schiff added Sunday.

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said President Donald Trump is "willfully fanning the flames" of racial unrest and violence because his campaign believes it helps his chances of re-election in November. Screenshot: CNN | Twitter
Adam Schiff Says Trump Views Racial Unrest, Russian Interference as Helpful to Campaign | News