Surprising absolutely no one, President Donald Trump, less than a week after a plea for bipartisanship at his first State of the Union address, is taking his kindergarten-level social skills back to Twitter and bullying a prominent Democratic lawmaker.
Today the lawmaker is a Democratic congressman from California, Adam Schiff, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. At 7:39 a.m. EST, Trump, his tummy likely rumbling in anticipation of the first Diet Coke of the day, tweeted the following:
Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!
As the New York Times notes, Schiff plans to call for a vote this afternoon for the Intelligence Committee to release a Democratic “rebuttal” to last week’s GOP memo. That memo was put out on Friday after being declassified by the White House, in what many see as a stunt to undermine the Russia investigation.
Of course, leaking classified information is a federal crime, so it’s no small thing to accuse somebody, least of all the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, of doing so. But just as noteworthy: the vague call that Schiff “must be stopped,” which can certainly be read as a threat against the Democrat.
Schiff responded a little more than an hour later via Twitter, in “I’m not new to this, I’m true to this” form.
“Mr. President, I see you’ve had a busy morning of ‘Executive Time,’” Schiff shaded. “Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or...really anything else.”
Schiff has sure mastered the use of passive-aggressive punctuation points—I see you with the “‘Executive Time’” and shady little ellipses. Go ’head, Schiff.
This being 2018, though, people were equally concerned, if not more so, with y’all’s president “losing his touch” with his insults, versus his unfounded assertions and vague but not unsubtle threat against a sitting congressman.
As the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election continues, Schiff has emerged as a “visible nemesis of the president,” the Times writes, appearing frequently on TV to discuss the investigations into Trump’s campaign and dealings with the Russians. Schiff rebutted last week’s GOP memo accusing federal law enforcement officials of abusing their power to spy on the Trump campaign.
It’s almost as if this systematic, undisciplined targeting of “enemies” (even if the vocabulary employed to do so is limited) were some sort of warning sign for authoritarianism, like trying to intimidate the press, fearmongering, politicizing the military and selective devotion to the law.
You know, just a little bit.