Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAll eyes on Garland after Bannon contempt vote House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE's negotiations during the 2016 election to build a property in Moscow were "very compromising."
"Whether it was legal or not remains to be seen. It certainly wasn’t very cool. More than that, it was very compromising of our country," Schiff said on ABC's "This Week."
"In order for this Trump Tower deal to go through, sanctions had to be lifted on a Russian state bank. At the same time Donald Trump is out there pushing to lift sanctions on Russia and this bank," he continued. "There’s no way to describe that as cool or ethical or in the national interest."
Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a frequent Trump antagonist, was responding directly to the president's assertion that his business ties during the campaign were "very legal & very cool."
Rep. Adam Schiff on Pres. Trump's comments over possible Russia business deal: "There's no way to describe that as cool or ethical or in the national interest." https://t.co/O9IQkjnRq7 #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/oUxB2Fo3a4— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 2, 2018
The president was on the defensive after Michael Cohen, who served as Trump's personal attorney for years, pleaded guilty last week to one count of making false statements to Congress related to his testimony about communications with Russia during the 2016 presidential race. He agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE as part of his plea.
The longtime Trump Organization employee said he was untruthful about his involvement in plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to remain loyal to the president and consistent with his “political message.”
Cohen previously told Congress that negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, but emails showed that he continued to talk with a Russian developer about the project into the summer of 2016 and kept Trump informed of the talks amid the presidential campaign.
Trump slammed Cohen as a "weak person" and downplayed the significance of the Trump Tower talks. He has insisted he did not collude with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Schiff suggested Sunday that Mueller may have wanted to get Cohen's testimony on the record in case his investigation is shut down in the near future.
Rep. Adam Schiff to @ThisWeekABC on new Michael Cohen plea deal with special counsel: "There is now a witness who confirms that, in the same way Michael Flynn as compromised, that the president and his business are compromised." https://t.co/O9IQkjnRq7 pic.twitter.com/zphst9rwXX— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 2, 2018