Category: ABC News
In an interview on Sunday with Jonathan Karl on ABC News’ “This Week,” Rep. Adam Schiff acknowledged it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for Democrats to receive any assistance from the Ukrainian government, but he suggested the alleged scandal involving Donald Trump Jr. and people claiming to have damaging information given by the Russian government is much worse.
In January, Politico published an investigative story connecting Ukrainian government officials to a Democrat operative. The operative allegedly used information passed from the Ukrainian government to help Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign in their fight against Donald Trump, who the Ukrainians believed to be too friendly with the Russian government.
According to Politico’s report, which Karl read from before asking Schiff a question about the event, “a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the DNC met with top officials in the Ukrainian embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia. The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in this race, helping force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that the Trump campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.”
“I understand Hillary Clinton lost,” Karl said to Schiff, “and I understand this effort was not as elaborate as the Russian effort, but was it acceptable, or would it have been acceptable for the Democrats to accept help from the Ukrainian government in this campaign?”
“No, it would be appropriate for the Democrats to get help from the Ukrainian government,” replied Schiff. “But I think if you look at the Politico article, and we’re talking about just a single article here, if you accept all the facts in the article, the scale of what the Russians did is not comparable to anything in that article.”
“If it were, the comparable analogy would be that the Ukrainian president directed the Ukrainian intelligence agencies to steal, to hack, Donald Trump’s campaign, steal e-mails, publish them, directed a social media army to influence the election, and sat down — its representatives sat down with Chelsea Clinton and John Podesta in which they indicated they wanted the dirt op Donald Trump,” Schiff said. “There’s no suggestion anything of that magnitude [inaudible].”
“The scale is different. … But the meeting is problematic? This Ukrainian meeting is problematic, in your eyes?” Karl asked.
“Well, it would be problematic to get any kind of support from a foreign government,” Schiff said. “But, again, I think to compare the two is like a bit like comparing bank robbery with writing a check with insufficient funds. Both appropriate money from the bank improperly, but a very different degree of seriousness and involvement in the case by a foreign government.”
As the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff has been one of the Trump administration’s staunchest critics and most skeptical opponents, especially on the issue of possible Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.
Schiff’s comments came just days after a new report revealed at least eight people were present at the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer claiming to have Kremlin-linked damaging knowledge about Hillary Clinton, information Trump Jr. failed to disclose in previous statements about the controversial meeting. NBC News also reported on Friday one of the attendees at the meeting was a former Soviet counterintelligence officer.
President Donald Trump and Trump Jr. have both denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the importance of these reports. On Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter, “HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”
HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017
Posted in ABC News, Adam Schiff, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russia, Russia Collusion
Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tussled with ABC “This Week” host Martha Raddatz on Sunday during a discussion about President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower last year.
During the interview, Raddatz came out of the gate charging.
“These are extremely serious charges the president is making. Where is he getting his information?” she pressed.
Huckabee Sanders cited reports from mainstream media outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post and BBC that reported on potential wiretapping and FISA court order requests.
“I think the bigger thing is: lets find out, lets have an investigation,” Huckabee Sanders said. “If they’re going to investigate Russia ties, lets include this as part of it.”
“You guys are always telling us to take the media seriously, well we are today,” she added. “If this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest overreach and the biggest scandal.”
“The president of the United States is accusing the former president of wiretapping him,” Raddatz said back, emphasizing her point.
“If this happened—” Huckabee Sanders began to reply.
“IF! IF! IF!” Raddatz interrupted, almost screaming.
The ABC host went on to press Huckabee Sanders over why Trump insisted, as if it was fact, that Obama wiretapped him, while Huckabee Sanders went on to say there needs to be an investigation into the claims.
“I think he’s going off of information that he’s seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential,” Huckabee Sanders said. “And if it is, this is the greatest overreach and the greatest abuse of power that I think we’ve ever seen and a huge attack on democracy itself and the American people have a right to know if this took place.”
Raddatz followed up by noting that the reports Huckabee Sanders cite mostly cite anonymous sources themselves, implying they can’t be believed.
“I love how anonymous sources don’t count when it’s something that’s positive in this administration and against the former one,” Huckabee Sanders shot back. “You guys use anonymous sources every single day.”
Watch the tense exchange below:
WH spokesperson on Trump wiretap claim: “He’s made very clear what he believes, and he’s asking we get down to the bottom of this.” pic.twitter.com/gTVLtszS1L
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 5, 2017
Posted in ABC News, Donald Trump, Martha Raddatz, Politics, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, watch
A top White House aide explained on Sunday why President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he won’t attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy White House press secretary, said on ABC News that Trump’s job as president isn’t to hobnob with reporters and celebrities. Instead, Trump’s job is to serve the American people, she explained.
“This wasn’t a president that was elected to spend his time with reporters and celebrities,” Huckabee Sanders said. “This is a president who campaigned on speaking directly to Americans, and that’s what he’s going to spend his time doing.”
The annual dinner attracts politicians, journalists and celebrities and is typically attended by the president, who’s often roasted.
In addition, Huckabee Sanders said it would be “naive” to think there wouldn’t be obvious tension if Trump attended the dinner, offering ABC “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos an old anaology from the South.
“You know, one of the things we say in the South: If a Girl Scout egged your house, would you buy cookies from her? I think that this is a pretty similar scenario. There’s no reason for him to go in and sit and pretend like this is going to be just another Saturday night,” she said.
Watch below. The relevant part begins at 8:55:
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Posted in ABC News, Donald Trump, Politics, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, watch, WHCA
According to expert pollster Nate Silver, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is only one state away from losing on Election Day to Republican Donald Trump.
Speaking on ABC News’ “This Week” Sunday, Silver said that although Clinton is the 2:1 odds favorite to win the White House, the former first lady is not “in a terribly safe position.”
“The electoral map is actually less solid for Clinton than it was for Obama four years ago,” Silver said matter-of-factly.
Silver, who runs the data news website FiveThirtyEight, went on to explain that in 2012, he predicted that President Barack Obama would defeat Republican challenger Mitt Romney with more than 320 Electoral College votes. But in 2016, he’s predicting that Clinton barely scrapes by to get the required 270.
“Clinton has about 270, so she’s one state away from potentially losing the Electoral College,” he said.
Still, Silver said that you’d rather “be in her shoes” going into Election Day than Trump’s.
Silver gained notoriety following the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections after he correctly predicted the outcomes of the elections. In 2008, he correctly predicted 49 of the 50 state outcomes and in 2012 he correctly predicted each state. Subsequently, Time Magazine labeled Silver one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2009.
.@NateSilver538 calls Hillary Clinton a 2:1 favorite, but it’s “not a terribly safe position.” #thisweek https://t.co/R48KDnqaOE
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 6, 2016
Posted in ABC News, Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Nate Silver, Politics, Poll, watch