Schiff: Trump comments about me 'designed to be a threat'

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt Press: Steve Bannon behind bars in Capitol basement? Paris Hilton to visit Capitol Hill to advocate for bill on children's treatment centers MORE (D-Calif.) said recent comments from President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE about him constituted a threat.

Trump has railed against Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, over how the lawmaker characterized a call between the president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the heart of the House’s impeachment hearings.

“In Guatemala, they handle things much tougher than that,” Trump said Tuesday at the White House while meeting with the Guatemalan president. 


“I think that’s what he intended it to be,” Schiff told CNN Wednesday when asked if the comments were a threat.

“This is a president, after all, who has said of people who blow the whistle on him that they’re traitors and spies and should be treated as traitors and spies used to be treated. We used to execute traitors and spies. So this is not a president above threatening anyone who gets in his way, anyone who stands up to him.”

Schiff said the remarks are unacceptable coming from the president but maintained he will continue to perform his duties as the House votes to impeach the president after an extensive inquiry, which Schiff helped lead from his perch on the Intelligence panel.

“He is not going to intimidate me,” Schiff said. “I think it was quite deliberately designed to be a threat and this is the president’s modus operandi. I’m not the first person he’s made a veiled threat about, I won’t be the last. But this is precisely the kind of conduct Americans should not accept in the Oval Office.” 

The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The articles are expected to pass largely along party lines.