On Tuesday night, former CIA officer, National Security Council Chief of Staff and White House deputy assistant Fred Fleitz made the argument on CNN that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) had prior knowledge of the whistleblower complaint before it became public in September.
But CNN anchor Chris Cuomo tried to shut down the evidence and the points Fleitz was making.
From Daily Caller:
When I saw this one, I thought it was very unusual, not just that it was extremely well written, but it had legal references and footnotes. That was a little bit unusual, but I compared that with the fact that Adam Schiff was talking about the subject matter of this complaint throughout the month of August. He posted a tweet at the end of August that almost identically reflected this complaint.
“But you don’t know any of that,” Cuomo pushed back. “You’re raising it as questions. You know that is meaningless unless you can put some meat on the bones. Of course the Republicans are agreeing with you. That’s the whole state of play. Anything you say that’s negative about this guy or this woman they’re going to pick up on.”
CNN even disparaged Fleitz in the chyron. The chyron read: “Trump allies peddle false claims about the whistleblower.” Nice. They’re essentially accusing him of making false claims, without having evidence for their accusation, while accusing Fleitz of not having evidence.
Of course, Fleitz was right.
The information that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) had received a letter from the whistleblower about his concerns on August 12 was out there last week. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was upset on September 27th that Schiff hadn’t informed his fellow Committee members, including her.
🚨 🚨IMPT question – when did Adam Schiff have access to the complaint or any related information? The letter to Schiff and Burr was dated August 12th. Did Schiff have ANY access earlier than Committee & if yes, why did he not immediately share this with his Committee? 🚨🚨
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) September 27, 2019
So when it all blew up on Wednesday that Schiff had prior knowledge of the complaint despite his statements to the contrary, Fleitz made Cuomo eat some crow.
“You were pretty hard on me last night on @CNN last night @ChrisCuomo when I told you that I assessed @RepAdamSchiff probably knew about the CIA whistleblower in advance,” Fleitz tweeted. “We now know from the NYT that I was right. Apology not necessary.”
You were pretty hard on me last night on @CNN last night @ChrisCuomo when I told you that I assessed @RepAdamSchiff probably knew about the CIA whistleblower in advance. We now know from the NYT that I was right. Apology not necessary. @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/4mui9BCvFz
— Fred Fleitz (@FredFleitz) October 2, 2019
If Cuomo had acted on the evidence that was available and tried to commit journalism, he might not have been embarrassed.
Schiff has made multiple statements suggesting he did not have contact with the whistleblower prior to the information becoming public.
From Daily Caller:
In a Sept. 19 press conference, he suggested that he did not know what the whistleblower was alleging. He also asserted that he might not even know that a complaint had been filed if Michael Atkinson, the IC IG, had not contacted Congress earlier last month regarding the complaint.
“In the absence of the actions, and I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging a urgent concern,” Schiff said during a press briefing on Sept. 19.
Schiff left out the part about his staff member directing the whistleblower to contact the IC IG in the first place.
Why was Schiff suggesting that when he clearly was aware at least since August 12? Because it served the narrative that he and the Congress were being denied information about the complaint by the administration. When, indeed, they already knew about it before the administration did.