On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump took aim at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading the Democratic impeachment effort against him. In a tweet, the president insulted Schiff calling him a “very sick man,” who “has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”
Met with intense backlash, the president’s message was interpreted as a threat, including by Schiff himself. The congressman has reportedly received threats since the president’s tweet. According to White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, however, Trump was not threatening Schiff. Per Mediaite, Grisham appeared Sunday on Fox News to discuss the issue.
Speaking with anchor Howard Kurtz, Grisham blasted the Democrats for wanting to impeach Trump. Echoing Trump, she suggested that Democrats are doing an “obsessive little dance,” trying to impeach the president and remove him from the White House at all costs.
Kurtz then pointed to Trump’s tweet, describing it as a “vague threat,” and asking the White House press secretary whether she agrees with his assessment. Grisham pushed back against the suggestion, arguing that Trump was only defending himself when he sent the tweet.
“People put meanings behind what he said. The president speaks in a very unique way, he’s a counter-puncher, he’s saying what it’s on his mind,” she said.
Kurtz then asked Grisham to explain what the president meant when he wrote that Schiff has not yet “paid the price” for what he has done.
“I haven’t talked to him about it yet,” the White House press secretary responded, insisting that the commander in chief was, in fact, suggesting that Schiff will pay the price by losing his seat in the House of Representatives.
Grisham then added that she is under the impression that Schiff is “having a little bit of a mental issue, when you sit on the floor for hours and hours and hour.”
“He’s obsessed with this president and trying to take him down,” she said.
It is not only Grisham and Trump that have taken aim at Schiff, the team of attorneys representing Trump at the impeachment trial has done the same. On Friday, after Democratic House impeachment managers presented their case, the lawyers announced that the defense plans to focus on Ukraine, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.
That strategy did not materialize. During their opening argument, Trump’s lawyers viciously attacked Schiff, in what appeared to be an attempt to raise questions about the top Democrat’s integrity and credibility. They played video clips of Schiff saying that there is evidence of Trump conspiring with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election, accusing him of launching partisan investigations meant to take down the commander in chief.