Schiff: ‘Tragically’ Trump ‘Has Decided that Racism Is Good Politics’

Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) declared it was his view that President Donald Trump had decided racism was “a good political strategy.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: We have to go now to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, who has been standing by. He joins us from Burbank this morning. Congressman, thank you for getting up early. You just heard Congresswoman Cheney there. When it comes to the issues that she says are about policy and not about race, not about politics, is that how you hear the comments- comments from the president this morning?

SCHIFF: No, absolutely not. I think, you know, tragically, the president has decided that racism is good politics. Racism is a good political strategy. There’s a reason why he keeps returning to attacking these women of color and the rhetoric that he uses. The- the crowd’s ugly, racist chant didn’t materialize- materialize out of nothing. It came from the president’s own tweet and words and incendiary rhetoric. This, of course, wasn’t a one-off either. This was the same president who said they were good people on both sides of a neo-Nazi rally. This is who he is. And he thinks it’s a winning political strategy. And God help us if it is. I think it’s a very- it’s a losing strategy. And I think we’re going to see next year what a colossal losing strategy it is. And we’re going to push back every time he engages in this kind of race-baiting racist rhetoric.

BRENNAN: Do Democrats need to push back more within their own party, though? As the president has said, there are members of it, four of them in particular who he’s focusing on, whose language he’s characterized as reckless, as anti-Semitic, he has said. Do Democrats need to do more to be more careful about their own language?

SCHIFF: I don’t think there’s really any equivalence here. We’re not, you know, inciting crowds to chant, “Send them back.” This is coming from the president. And yes, we have a big and diverse caucus and the political views of our caucus are as reflective of the country as they are of our caucus. But that is not in any way equivalent to the kind of racist rhetoric coming out of the White House. So look, I fully expect our members are going to be very aggressive out there. We have strong disagreements with this president, but we’re focused on those disagreements when it comes to providing good paying jobs to people, issues like minimum wage, like trying to save access to health care while he wants to demonize four women of color and engage in this kind of bile. And, you know, it was such a tragedy last week, when we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest achievements in American history, in- in the history, frankly, of humankind, the landing on the moon, that we see one of the most tawdry moments in our history: the president engaging in this kind of behavior.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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