Schiff says Trump’s written responses to Mueller are not adequate

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump declassification move unnerves Democrats Trump appeals order siding with House Democrats bank subpoenas MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE to sit down for an in-person interview with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE and his team, saying that the president's written statements to the special counsel's office were insufficient.

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Schiff, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Mueller needed the opportunity to ask follow-up questions based on the president's responses.

“There really needs to be a live interview with the president because you need to be able to ask follow-up questions in real time," Schiff told CNN on Wednesday.

Schiff also said the committee, under new Democratic leadership next year, would pursue phone records related to the setup of June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign associates and a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"In terms of whether [the president] was aware of the meeting at Trump Tower, there is important, relevant information that we were not allowed to get [previously]," Schiff told CNN.

"One of the key documents, for example, that we are going to pursue are the phone records that would show who was on that call [Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' #TrumpTantrum spreads on Twitter after impromptu press conference Trump family members will join state visit to UK MORE] had sandwiched between those calls to set up the meeting at Trump Tower," he added.

Schiff has promised that the committee, which he is expected to lead, will take greater action under Democratic leadership to pursue investigations Democrats demanded unsuccessfully under the GOP-led House. 

He has also threatened to press acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the president's replacement for former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds Five takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' MORE, on possible ties to the White House or Mueller's Russia investigation.

"If he has any involvement whatsoever in this Russia probe, we are going to find out whether he made commitments to the president about the probe, whether he is serving as a back channel to the president or his lawyers about the probe, whether he's doing anything to interfere with the probe," Schiff said earlier this month in an interview.

"Mr. Whitaker needs to understand that he will be called to answer."