Meadows says Trump told him he didn't threaten senators on impeachment vote

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsLawmakers grill Census Bureau officials after report on cybersecurity issues Conservative lawmakers warn Pelosi about 'rate-setting' surprise billing fix House GOP leader says reassignment of Vindman was appropriate MORE (R-N.C.) on Saturday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE strongly denied to him that threatened any Republican senator over their vote on impeachment.

Meadows, one of Trump’s closest allies, said Trump has vehemently denied that any Republican senators were told “vote against the president and your head will be on a pike,” as CBS News reported Friday.

House lead impeachment manager Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop intelligence community lawyer leaving position Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, referenced the comment Friday in his closing argument, causing an uproar among Republicans.

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“That didn’t happen. That categorically did not happen. I talked to the president this morning and I can promise you it’s not language he has used, it’s not language he did use,” said Meadows.

“The jury on that are the 53 Republican senators that should be offended but they know the president didn’t tell them that,” he said.

A number of Republican senators have criticized Schiff over the remark. 

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Booker, Merkley propose federal facial recognition moratorium GOP senators defend Sondland, Vindman ousters: They weren't 'loyal' MORE (R-Mo.), a member of the GOP leadership, said Schiff’s head-on-a-pike comment could be a turning point in the trial.

“I thought it was a foolish thing for him to say,” he said. “There’s a point when you’ve been lectured on the same one-hour set of facts for three days when anything can be a turning point.”

Blunt said Republican senators are growing annoyed that the House impeachment managers appeared to have milked all 24 hours of their floor time to maximize television exposure, making their case as much to the television cameras as the senators in the chamber.

“By the end of the three days we’d all figured out we were all sitting there so they could talk to whoever was watching television at the time. I think that was a bad strategy on their part,” he said.

Murkowski told reporters Friday morning that she didn’t appreciate Schiff’s comment about heads on pikes.

“I didn’t like it,” she said, but has also said it would not affect her view on whether additional witnesses and documents should be subpoenaed.