President Donald Trump on Sunday accused Representative Adam Schiff of leaking classified information on Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. election to hurt Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders.
Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to India, Trump said he had not been briefed on intelligence that Russia was aiming to boost the campaign of Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, and he called for a probe into Schiff for the leak. Schiff, a Democrat, denied the allegation.
A congressional source told Reuters on Friday that intelligence officials had told lawmakers Russia appears to be engaging in disinformation and propaganda campaigns to help both Sanders and Trump, who is seeking re-election.
“Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one,” he wrote in a tweet. “You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again.”
By raising questions about the latest findings, Trump appears to be seeking to boost Sanders, who is now the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. As a self-described democratic socialist, Sanders is a candidate Trump would like to take on in a general election to bolster his argument that Democrats are pushing a socialist agenda.