Schiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Overnight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guillén death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings MORE (D-Calif.) is sparking immediate, bipartisan backlash after he referenced a CBS News report saying Republican senator heads will be on a 'pike' if they break with President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE on the impeachment fight. 
 
Schiff referenced the report as he was in the final stretch of his closing argument on the Senate floor on Friday night. 
 
"CBS News report that a Trump confidant said that GOP senators were warned '... vote against the president and your head will be on a pike,'" Schiff said from the Senate floor. 
 
Schiff had managed to win some smiles from Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Senate Democrats' campaign arm announces seven-figure investment to boost Graham challenger Graham: Comey to testify about FBI's Russia probe, Mueller declined invitation MORE (R-S.C.), during his closing statement but the moment drew immediate blowback from Republicans, both from allies of the president and more centrist GOP senators seen as swing votes. 
 
 
"That's not true," she said several times from her seat, loudly enough to be overheard from the Senate gallery.
 
Collins said in a subsequent statement that “not only have I never heard the ‘head on the pike’ line, but also I know of no Republican Senator who has been threatened in any way by anyone in the Administration.”
 
 
"That's where he lost me," Murkowski told reporters after the trial wrapped, adding that Schiff "overreached." 
 
Schiff continued to reference the CBS News report, despite the audible reaction from Republicans, adding "I don't know if that's true, but when I read that I was struck by the irony, by the irony."
 
But Republicans continued to verbally push back, with Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling bipartisan energy bill The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump, Biden battle over vaccine, economy; Congress returns MORE (R-Wyo.) overheard saying "no," and Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischWhy the US should rely more on strategy, not sanctions Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Senators blast Turkey's move to convert Hagia Sophia back into a mosque MORE (R-Idaho) overheard adding "that's not true." 
 
Amid the verbal pushback, Schiff paused mid-sentence and turned toward the Republican side of the room, adding, "I hope it's not true. I hope it's not true."
 
The slight caveat wasn't enough to quell the Republican furor. 
 
Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordMcConnell works to lock down GOP votes for coronavirus bill Charities scramble to plug revenue holes during pandemic Warren calls for Postal Service board members to fire DeJoy or resign MORE (R-Okla.) said the remark was "one of the most remarkable moments." 

"That is completely totally false, and all of us were shaking our heads 'like where did that story come from' and Adam Schiff just kept saying it," he said.

Lankford that "the whole room was visibly upset on our side of it. ...That's insulting and demeaning." 
 

"He has basically offended every Republican senator in there tonight," Barrasso told reporters. 
 
 
Some Democrats also distanced themselves from the House Intelligence Committee chairman. 
 
 
"I don't know why people do that," Manchin added. "That could have been left out that's for sure." 
 
 
"That was the only time I heard a loud audible reaction from the Republican side. ...We know the president attacks people that work for him," Brown sad. "We know that there is fear of him throughout the Republican caucus." 
 
Scott Wong contributed
 
Updated: 11:26 p.m.