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Schiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn Trump pardons Michael Flynn 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 TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit 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 GrahamClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Spokesperson says Tennessee Democrat made 'poor analogy' in saying South Carolina voters have extra chromosome 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. 
 
Though senators are supposed to sit silently during an impeachment trial, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Maine), a crucial swing vote, could be seen looking to her colleagues next to her and shaking her head. 
 
"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.”
 
Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump administration denies permit for controversial Pebble Mine Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Alaska), also viewed as a potential swing vote, immediately knocked Schiff for his rhetoric, calling it "unnecessary." 
 
"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."
 
 
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 LankfordEthics experts ask Senate to investigate Graham's probe of mail-in voting The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor 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." 
 
 
Barrasso, speaking to reporters after the trial ended, vehemently denied that the threat from Trump ever happened. 

"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.