When asked about why he opposes releasing an intelligence memo that discusses persons and facts relative to the investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said it was because Americans would not be able to "see how distorted and misleading the document is."
The memo is is just Republican "spin" and a "fulsome attack on the FBI," claimed Schiff, who added that the public needs the "underlying materials" to understand the full story. The House Intelligence Committee may vote today, Jan. 29, to release the memo. Leading Republicans and President Donald Trump have called for the memo's release.
During the Jan. 20 edition of CNN Newsroom, host Ana Cabrera asked Rep. Schiff, "Let me ask you about the Russia investigation. I can't have you here and not [ask], especially given how much we talked about it in the first year of the presidency. And now, if you turn on any conservative media, they keep talking about this [Devin] Nunes memo, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, that he's put out there and many Republicans have taken a look at it and they want it made public. Can you tell us what exactly is it?"
Congressman Schiff said, "It is essentially a set of talking points that the Republican intel staff drafted, based on the highly classified materials, which most of the Republican members were forced to acknowledge they’d not even read. So they don't know how distorted these talking points are, but as part of the narrative they want to push out."
"Interestingly enough, they've made common cause once again with Russian bots because Russian bots are pushing their narrative out there," said Schiff. "It's in a redux of the campaign. We have Assange and WikiLeaks and Russian trolls and bots saying, you know, hash tag whatever the GOP narrative is. That ought to tell you a lot about what's driving this. And that is --"
Cabrera interjected, "Why not allow people to look at it and let Americans make the decision for themselves about whether it's useful information or not?"
Schiff replied, "Well, because the American people, unfortunately, don't have the underlying materials and therefore they can't see how distorted and misleading this document is. The Republicans are not saying make the underlying materials available to the public. They just want to make this spin available to the public."
"I think that spin, which is a fulsome attack on the FBI, is just designed to attack the FBI and [Special Counsel] Bob Mueller to circle the wagons for the White House," said Schiff. "And that's a terrible disservice to the people, hard-working people at the Bureau. But more than that, it's a disservice to the country."
Cabrera did not ask any follow-up questions.