Schiff: Intelligence agencies focused on Russian interference 'even if the president isn't'

Schiff: Intelligence agencies focused on Russian interference 'even if the president isn't'
© Greg Nash

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon Schiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Harris calls for Parnas to testify at Senate trial MORE (D-Calif.) reacted Sunday to a New York Times report on U.S. intelligence agencies’ efforts against Russian election meddling that drew President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE’s ire.

“Certainly I think the intelligence community is training its focus and resources on the Russian threat even if the president isn’t,” Schiff said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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“Establishing a deterrent [to election interference is very important, but that effort to establish a deterrent is dramatically undercut when the president, a month ago, told Putin over the phone that he still thinks the Russian interference into our election was a hoax,” Schiff added.

The Times article, published Saturday, detailed U.S. efforts to penetrate Russia’s power grid.

“It has gotten far, far more aggressive over the past year,” one senior intelligence official told the Times. “We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago.”  

Trump denounced the story as “NOT TRUE!” Saturday night and called the Times’ publication of it “a virtual act of Treason.”

“What I found most disturbing in that New York Times story was the fact that the security officials within the administration felt they couldn’t tell this to the president because they felt he might compromise that information,” Schiff said.