Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday lauded House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to kick Rep. Adam Schiff off the House Intelligence Committee, accusing the California Democrat of leaking classified information when he was on the panel.
“Adam Schiff lied to the American people, and during my time as CIA director and secretary of State, I know that he leaked classified information that had been provided to him,” Pompeo alleged during an interview with Fox News.
Pompeo, who served on the Intelligence Committee with Schiff when he represented Kansas in Congress, said that McCarthy (R-Calif.) was “exactly right” to boot the California Democrat, and he argued that Schiff’s tenure as chairman on the panel “almost ruined that committee.”
Pompeo added that as secretary of state, he was troubled by Schiff’s behavior and didn’t feel comfortable providing the intel committee information.
“When we provided information to him and to his staff, it ended up in places it shouldn’t have been with alarming regularity,” Pompeo explained. “In the end, I decided, I held back information from them as a result.”
“I watched the House Intelligence Committee under the leadership of Adam Schiff. I watched him denigrate and lower its ability to actually perform its function. When he was out talking about the Russia hoax, going on to say that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, knowing that it almost certainly was not,” Pompeo said.
Schiff’s office denied Pompeo’s claims on Wednesday, calling them “patently false.”
“This is another patently false and defamatory statement from Mike Pompeo. While we understand that Adam Schiff is a favorite target for the failed lackeys of the Trump administration running for president, reputable news outlets shouldn’t repeat these falsehoods,” Lauren French, a spokesperson for the congressman, told the Hill.
McCarthy denied House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) effort to reappoint Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) to the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, saying that he “cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of the national security” and arguing that “the misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congresses severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions — ultimately leaving our nation less safe.”
In February 2020, then-President Donald Trump accused Schiff of leaking classified information on Russian interference in the run-up to the 2020 US election to hurt then-Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders.
“I read where Russia is helping Bernie Sanders. Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed me about that at all,” Trump said. “They leaked it, Adam Schiff and his group. They leaked it to the papers and — as usual — they ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that information,” Trump alleged.