President Donald Trump on Sunday took aim at a representative of Congress whom he’s frequently clashed with on Twitter — only this time, the president apparently altered the Congressman’s name to make it sound like a curse word.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) spoke on Sunday about the need to determine whether Trump’s temporary appointment to lead the Department of Justice was constitutional or not. Matthew Whitaker was never confirmed by the Senate to serve as acting Attorney General, and many question whether a temporary person serving in that role can do so without having been approved for a position within the DOJ.
Schiff is among those who think his appointment is not proper. “I think the appointment is unconstitutional,” Schiff said, according to reporting from the Washington Examiner. “He is clearly a principal officer and the fact that he is a temporary principal officer doesn’t mean that that is any less subject to Senate confirmation.”
Trump, apparently frustrated with Schiff, took his complaints to Twitter, where he wrote a tweet comparing Whitaker’s appointment to that of Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller, who is also not Senate confirmed. But Trump didn’t address Schiff by his name — rather, he called the representative “Little Adam Schitt.”
“So funny to see little Adam Schitt (D-CA) talking about the fact that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was not approved by the Senate, but not mentioning the fact that Bob Mueller (who is highly conflicted) was not approved by the Senate!” Trump wrote, according to reporting from the Hill.
It’s possible that the alteration of Schiff’s name was a typo, as the letters “f” and “t” appear very close together on a keyboard. However, if it is a typo, it’s a peculiar one, as autocorrecting from “Schiff” to “Schitt” wouldn’t be likely.
According to the Star Tribune, which has an article allowing you to search how many people with a certain name exist in the U.S., the surname “Schiff” occurs 1.35 times out of every 100,000 people in the U.S. That means that more than 4,000 people in the country have that last name. For the name, “Schitt,” however, no data could be retrieved, meaning that less than 100 people in the U.S. have that surname.
Schiff was quick to notice the typo himself, and responded to Trump on Twitter in his own tweet. “Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one,” he wrote in his tweet. “Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself?”
The controversy over the tweet may be disputed, but on the issue of who has to be appointed or not, the president seems to be misinformed, or at least one might gather he is based on his tweets. The Constitution is clear that the president must get approval for all “public Ministers and Consuls” (read: cabinet members), according to the National Constitution Center (the attorney general would fit under that category).
The special counsel, however, is an appointment made within the Department of Justice, and one that does not require Senate approval. Indeed, a Trump-appointed judge ruled just a couple of months ago that the appointment of Mueller to oversee the Russia investigation was constitutional, per reporting from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.