Schiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Democrats face tough questions with Bolton MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE for spreading “false claims” about intelligence officials’ warnings that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help the president and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.).

Speaking with reporters outside the White House earlier that day, Trump said he was never told about an intelligence briefing Sanders received about Moscow's efforts to assist his candidacy in the Democratic primary. Sanders acknowledged that he'd received a briefing just a day after The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that intel officials told House lawmakers that Russia had a preference for Trump in 2020. 

"I read where Russia is helping Bernie Sanders. Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed that to me at all," Trump said, suggesting that "Schiff and his group leaked it to the papers. They ought to investigate Schiff for leaking that information."

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Schiff, who became a top Trump target after taking a lead role in the House impeachment inquiry, shot back at the president just hours later, tweeting that his false claims "fool no one."

"You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020," Schiff wrote. 

"Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it," he added, referencing Trump's decision to oust acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireTrump gives Grenell his Cabinet chair after he steps down Top intel official leaving post Grenell announces creation of intelligence community 'cyber executive' MORE and replace him with Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany. Grenell is expected to fill the role on a temporary basis until a permanent director is appointed and confirmed.

Maguire was expected to be nominated to be the permanent intelligence chief, though Trump reportedly soured on him after a senior official briefed Congress about Russian election interference. He reportedly claimed that Maguire's staff had shown disloyalty by speaking to Congress about the issue. 

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The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump and harm Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats try to turn now into November The Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump On The Trail: Trump, coronavirus fuel unprecedented voter enthusiasm MORE. Many top officials, including former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE and FBI Director Chris Wray, have indicated that Russia has continued its efforts to interfere in U.S. election in the ensuing years. 

Trump, meanwhile, has dismissed the new reports as a "misinformation campaign" launched by Democrats. National security adviser Robert O'Brien echoed that sentiment on Sunday, saying on ABC that he's seen no intelligence that suggests Russia is looking to aid Trump. 

Shelby Pierson, an aide to Maguire, offered the intelligence about Russia's preference for Trump during a briefing with the House Intelligence Committee. Sanders and the House Intelligence Committee were also reportedly briefed about Russia's efforts related to his campaign. There is no evidence to suggest that Schiff leaked the information.

"Let’s be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts, and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election," Sanders said in a statement Friday while addressing the issue.