President Donald Trump slammed five high-level government officials as “liars and leakers” on Monday morning as part of a Twitter message aimed at House Intelligence Committee member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)
“Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper!” the president wrote. “Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!”
Schiff was one of the leading figures opposing the last week’s release of a secret memo which detailed abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by high-level officials in the FBI and the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
The four other officials in Trump’s message include three top-ranking Obama-era intelligence executives, including former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. The fifth official is Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In a follow-up tweet, Trump praised the author of the declassified FISA-abuse memo, Devin Nunes.
“Representative Devin Nunes, a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!” Trump wrote.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., has accused members of the House Intelligence Committee of selectively leaking information from his confidential interview. Trump Jr.’s lawyer demanded that the leaks be investigated in a letter to the committee’s chairman.
Comey admitted that he leaked his memos, at least one of which was classified, to a friend with the intention of them reaching the news media. Comey was also the FBI director when the abuses of the FISA system detailed in Nunes’ memo occurred. Trump fired Comey in May last year.
Trump’s administration was inundated with selective leaks during the first six months of his presidency. According to a report by the Senate Homeland Security committee, an average of one leak per day occurred between the president’s inauguration and July 6 last year.
The 125 leaks reviewed by the committee included disclosures of information “potentially damaging to national security” and sensitive intelligence on U.S. adversaries or possible military plans against them, the committee reported.
Russia-related leaks made up more than half of the total and included “closely-held information such as intelligence community intercepts, FBI interviews and intelligence, grand jury subpoenas, and even the workings of a secret surveillance court,” according to the report.