Schiff: Trump Is Bigger Threat to American Democracy Than Russia

Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff / Getty Images
February 5, 2019

Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) suggested during an event in New Hampshire on Monday that President Donald Trump is a bigger threat to the United States than Vladimir Putin's Russia.

"[O]ne of the most difficult conclusions for me in the last two years as I looked into Russia’s meddling in our affairs, as well as the growing trend towards autocracy around the world, is the realization that the threat to our democracy right now is most pronounced from within," Schiff said in remarks reported by Inside Sources

Schiff, speaking at a Politics and Eggs event in Bedford, affirmed his intention as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to counter an "unethical president" and what he says has been an ineffectual Congress.

"We have a deeply unethical president who is not committed to these institutions of our democracy, and a Congress that in the last two years has been utterly unwilling to stand up to him. This combination has our republic and its democracy trembling. Trembling," Schiff told the audience of Granite State business leaders and political activists.

Schiff expanded on his criticism of the Trump administration in an interview with Inside Sources after he finished speaking.

"What I am saying is that the most acute threat to our democracy right now comes from an administration that believes that you [the press] are the enemy of the people. That belittles the independence of our judges, and denigrates the Justice Department and undermines the work of the FBI, and tells friend and foe alike that our intelligence agencies can’t be trusted. This is a real threat to our country," Schiff said.

Schiff acknowledged threats posed by Russia and China are also serious but said they are "secondary to the threat we face right now from within."

Last month, Schiff doubled committee staff in preparation for reopening the probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Republicans on the House committee concluded an investigation last year that found no collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government.