President Trump has accused House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of leaking a report on alleged Russian meddling to support Bernie Sanders’s campaign.
The US president said: “It sounds like it’s ‘16 all over again….. you know what’s happening. You can see the handwriting on the wall.”
As Sanders surged in the polls, the Washington Post ran an article on Friday describing a covert Russian effort to help the Vermont senator win the Democratic nomination. The article did not specify “what form that Russian assistance has taken,” and provided no evidence, only assertions from anonymous intelligence officials.
Sanders’s campaign was briefed on the supposed Russian plot, but President Trump stated on Sunday that his administration received no such warning, despite the article’s claim that he had.
“Nobody said it to me at all, nobody briefed me about that at all,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
According to the article, the anonymous intelligence official sounded the alarm at a closed-doors meeting of the House Intelligence Committee last week. Trump claimed on Sunday that the report had been leaked to the Post by committee chairman Adam Schiff – a committed ‘Russiagater’ who led the impeachment effort against Trump.
They leaked it, Adam Schiff and his group, they leaked it to the papers,” Trump said. “He should not be leaking information out of intelligence. They ought to investigate Adam Schiff.”
“What it could be is, you know, the Democrats are treating Bernie Sanders very unfairly,” the president continued. “It sounds to me like a leak from Adam Schiff, because they don’t want Bernie Sanders to represent them. It sounds like 2016 all over again for Bernie Sanders.”
You know what’s happening. You can see the handwriting on the wall.
Earlier on Sunday, National Security Advisor Michael O’Brien told CBS News that he hadn’t “seen any intelligence to support the report.”
“These are leaks that were coming from a House Intel Committee hearing,” O’Brien said. “I haven’t seen any intelligence to back up what I’m reading in the papers.”
Despite a tidal wave of popular support, 2016 saw Sanders pipped at the post by Hillary Clinton, whose campaign coordinated with the Democratic National Committee to secure her nomination.
This time around, the Democratic establishment and its supporters in the media once again have the socialist senator in their sights. The Washington Post’s “bombshell” article preceded several TV spots over the weekend, in which liberal anchors compared Sanders’s rise to that of Adolf Hitler, and claimed that Vladimir Putin is overseeing his campaign, all in the name of getting Trump re-elected.
The negative coverage has apparently done little to dent Sanders’s popularity at the polls. Indeed, the Vermont lawmaker seems to have a Trump-like ability to deflect negative coverage, and a loyal voter base – the ‘Bernie Bros’ the mainstream media wrung its hands over in recent weeks – who are distrustful of both the party establishment and the media.
Sanders won a decisive victory in Nevada and, with some results still outstanding on Sunday, held a 26-point lead over his nearest rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Though establishment favorite Biden is polling ahead of Sanders in South Carolina – the sight of the next primary showdown – Sanders is topping the majority of nationwide polls.