Republican senator: Trump's Schiff tweet not a 'death threat'

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 Sunday that a tweet from President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE saying Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence Overnight 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 MORE (D-Calif.) "has not paid the price" for "what he has done" to the U.S. was not "a death threat."

The senator defended the president on CNN’s "State of the Union" when host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCNN slammed for soft questions during Biden town hall: 'The media is broken' Biden's team says he views election against Trump as 'Park Avenue vs. Scranton' The spin on Woodward's tapes reveals the hypocrisy of Democrats MORE asked him about Trump’s tweet earlier Sunday morning targeting Schiff. 

"I don’t think it’s a death threat. I don’t think he’s encouraging a death threat," Lankford said.

Lankford also called Trump’s tweet “political,” saying it was “no different than” when Schiff and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Ginsburg successor must uphold commitment to 'equality, opportunity and justice for all' Bipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg MORE (D-Calif.) say “folks will be paying a price at the ballot box” or in the future. 

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When Tapper asked if he was “offended” by the president’s tweet, Lankford responded that he is “offended only because Adam Schiff believes that the only reason that we act the way that we do is because the president's going to put our head on a pike.”

“He's saying, you're going to ignore all the facts, and you're only doing this because we're afraid of the president rather than we will actually be fair in the process and actually look at the facts,” he added. 

The president in his tweet called Schiff a “CORRUPT POLITICIAN” and said he has “not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”

Schiff, who is the lead House manager presenting the Democrats' impeachment case against Trump in the Senate trial, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the president's tweet was “intended to be” a threat. 

The impeachment trial in the Senate began last week with the opening statements from both sides and will continue Monday.