Trump demands Schiff resign over account of Ukraine call

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE on Friday demanded House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Schiff calls on DNI Grenell to explain intelligence community changes READ: Schiff plans to investigate Trump firing intel watchdog MORE (D-Calif.) “immediately” resign from Congress for reading what the congressman described as a parody of the president’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader that is at the center of a whistleblower complaint.

In a series of tweets early Friday, Trump accused Schiff of lying to Congress and “fraudulently” reciting a version of the call that made it “sound horrible” and made the president appear “guilty.”

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“He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty,” Trump tweeted. 

“HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT. Adam Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public. He has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!”

Trump was referring to a moment at the outset of Thursday’s congressional hearing with the acting intelligence chief during which Schiff described Trump as saying on the call that he would tell Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “seven times” to “make up dirt on my political opponent.”

Schiff later made clear that he was summarizing what happened on the July 25 call and that it was meant “to be, at least in part, parody.”

“The fact that that's not clear is a separate problem in and of itself. Of course, the president never said, if I — if you don't understand me, I'm going to say it seven more times. My point is, that's the message that the Ukraine president was receiving in not so many words,” Schiff said.

Schiff immediately hit back at Trump on Twitter on Friday, accusing him of engaging in "a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country" and trying to cover it up.

"You’re right about one thing — your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves," Schiff wrote. "But most importantly here, they endanger our country." 

Trump, who was extremely active on Twitter Friday morning, later asserted Schiff should be "investigated" and called him a "sick man." 

A rough transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky was released by the White House on Wednesday. It showed Trump encouraging the Ukrainian leader to investigate unsubstantiated allegations against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics MORE, a front-runner for the 2020 Democratic nomination, and offering to put him in touch with his personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump: Tough times but progress being made Giuliani touts experimental coronavirus treatment in private conversations with Trump Trump team picks fight with Twitter, TV networks over political speech MORE, and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrAppeals court sides with Trump on federal execution policy Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report Decentralized leadership raises questions about Trump coronavirus response MORE.

The call is at the center of an intelligence community whistleblower complaint alleging Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” The complaint also alleged efforts within the White House to cover up records of the call after the fact.

A redacted version of the complaint was released Thursday, minutes before lawmakers grilled acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire about his handling of it during an open hearing.

Trump has defended the call as “perfect” and insisted he did not pressure Zelensky while noting the partial transcript of the call showed no explicit quid pro quo.

Earlier Friday, Trump tweeted that the call was "very legal and very good,” accusing Democrats of continuing a “witch hunt.” House Democrats launched formal impeachment proceedings on Tuesday after details began to emerge about Trump’s phone conversation with Zelensky. 

The White House memo detailing the call shows Trump asking for a “favor” before entering into a discussion with Zelensky about investigating details related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. He later brings up Biden.