Tags: house intelligence committee | adam schiff | donald trump

WashPost Gives Schiff 4 Pinocchios Over Whistleblower Comment

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. (AP)

By    |   Friday, 04 October 2019 03:53 PM

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., received four Pinocchios by The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column on Friday for saying his panel had "not spoken directly with the whistleblower" over concerns about President Donald Trump's Ukrainian telephone call.

The New York Times disclosed Wednesday that the whistleblower had approached Intelligence Committee staffers "days before" filing a complaint with the intelligence community's inspector general.

In a Sept. 17 interview on MSNBC, Schiff said "we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower."

The Daily Beast's Sam Stein asked Schiff on the "Morning Joe" program: "Have you heard from the whistleblower?

"Do you want to hear from the whistleblower? What protections could you provide to the whistleblower?" Stein asked.

"We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower," Schiff responded. "We would like to.

"But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation."

The Post called Schiff's response "flat-out false.

"Schiff on 'Morning Joe' clearly made a statement that was false," the Post said. "He now says he was answering the wrong question, but if that was the case, he should have quickly corrected the record.

"He compounded his falsehood by telling reporters a few days later that if not for the [inspector general's] office, the committee would not have known about the complaint. That again suggested there had been no prior communication."

"The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity," the Post added. "Schiff earns Four Pinocchios."

The Post fact-checker's Pinocchios range from one to four, with four being used to rate statements considered the most egregious.

But a House Intelligence Committee representative told the Post Friday that Schiff's MSNBC response "should have been more carefully phrased."

"Regarding Chairman Schiff's comments on 'Morning Joe,' in the context, he intended to answer the question of whether the committee had heard testimony from the whistleblower, which they had not," the spokesperson told the Post.

"As he said in his answer, the whistleblower was then awaiting instructions from the acting [Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire] as to how the whistleblower could contact the committee.

"Nonetheless," the spokesperson added, "he acknowledges that his statement should have been more carefully phrased to make that distinction clear."

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., received four Pinocchios by The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column on Friday for saying his panel had "not spoken directly with the whistleblower" over concerns about President Donald Trump.
house intelligence committee, adam schiff, donald trump
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2019-53-04
Friday, 04 October 2019 03:53 PM
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