Schiff: Trump helped House Republicans plan to storm SCIF

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Schiff says Justice Roberts should rule on witnesses Schiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line MORE (D-Calif.) suggested Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE played a role in House Republicans' decision to enter a secure area, known as a SCIF, where impeachment witness depositions are held.

In a CNN interview, Schiff said "the storming of the SCIF and all the other high jinks that the president concocts with them" showed a "lack of seriousness."

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Host Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Tucker Carlson delivers program's largest audience during Iranian missile strike coverage Judge Judy dismisses Biden: 'Do you see greatness?' MORE then asked the lawmaker if Trump "knew what they were doing or had a hand in what they did in storming the SCIF."

"Without a doubt," Schiff said. "That happened the morning after a meeting with these ... Tea Party members who came storming in the next day."

"Much of the Republican party has become a cult of personality around the president," he said later. 

 
"He did not play any role," she said in an email to The Hill.
 
A group of House Republicans entered the secure area last week after complaining about the closed-door nature of the witness interviews.
 
House Democrats in late September launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump after revelations that he pressed Ukraine's president to look into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE

Updated: 2:28 p.m.