In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Donald Trump issued pleas for bipartisan unity between Republicans and Democrats, as the New York Times reported, calling on both parties to “embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.” But Trump’s attempt at a unifying message lasted less than 24 hours. On Wednesday morning, he hurled insults at the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff of California.
Trump’s attack on Schiff came after, in one of the SOTU speech’s most eye-opening moments on Tuesday, Trump appeared to threaten that he would allow no legislation to be passed by Congress — and even lead the nation into war — unless the multiple investigations into Trump’s activities were halted.
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations,” he said, as quoted by NBC News. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”
Democrats, however, reacted with “disgust” to Trump’s demand to stop all investigations of him, as Politico reported, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that Trump had “threatened the United States Congress not to exercise its constitutional responsibility of oversight.”
On Wednesday morning, Schiff announced that his committee would undertake a broad, new investigation not only into Trump’s Russia ties — which are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller — but also into Trump’s personal and business finances, probing “any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the President or anyone in the administration,” as CNN reported.
A press question about Schiff’s announcement led to Trump’s dig at the 58-year-old, 10-term congressional rep from Los Angeles, California, as the Hill reported.
After first claiming that he “never heard of him” when asked about Schiff — per Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey on Twitter — Trump then slammed Schiff as a “political hack.”
“He has no basis to do that. He’s just a political hack who’s trying to build a name for himself,” Trump told reporters. “It’s just presidential harassment and it’s unfortunate and it really does hurt our country.”
Schiff in his announcement said that the investigation could involve other congressional committees outside of the intelligence committee, and — according to USA Today reporter Brad Heath on Twitter — will cover “Moscow’s ties to Trump’s campaign, business and administration; and whether the Kremlin has ‘leverage’ over the president.”