Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said on Friday that it wasn’t unreasonable for President Donald Trump to consider House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) “as an enemy,” adding the president has “good reason” to be a “little paranoid” that Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would weaponize intelligence about Russian interference against him.
Multiple outlets, including The Daily Beast, reported Thursday that intelligence officials briefed House lawmakers earlier this month that Russia was interfering in the 2020 election to assist Trump once again. It was further reported that it was this meeting, conducted by Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire’s aide Shelby Pierson, that resulted in Trump forcing out Maguire and replacing him with loyalist Richard Grenell.
After Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts reported that the network was “told” that Trump “did not berate or otherwise yell at” Maguire over the briefing as had been reported elsewhere, Fox News host Ed Henry welcomed on Wallace to discuss.
“How seriously should we take this report about renewed Russian interference in our elections?” Henry wondered aloud.
“We should take it very seriously,” Wallace replied, adding that per the briefing the Russians are favoring Trump as they did in 2016.
“I can understand where President Trump doesn't like it,” the Fox News Sunday host continued. “Especially the fact that it was a briefing to House Intelligence which is chaired by Adam Schiff, who is not exactly friendly with the president. He obviously regards as an enemy. And not unreasonably so. But we should take the briefing by the DNI as a very serious indication.”
Henry, meanwhile, said that one of the president’s concerns is “Adam Schiff would weaponize the information and use it politically,” adding that “sure enough it gets leaked out” while noting Schiff and Pelosi have already criticized Trump for not doing enough to combat election interference.
“We’ve been now talking about all this for a few years,” Henry stated. “What actually is our government doing to make sure that the 2020 election is not interfered with?”
“You know, you can argue that the president, as they say would—you know, even paranoids have people who are really after them,” Wallace quipped. “So if the president is a little bit paranoid about Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi, he does it with good reason.”
The veteran anchor, however, would reiterate that “everybody should take seriously” the intelligence community’s claims that Russia is a threat to interfere in the 2020 election on Trump’s behalf.
“We want to have faith in our democracy and want to have faith that an election is being conducted fairly and while there is no indication that the Russians were able to overturn the legitimate results of the election in 2016 that Donald Trump was the duly-elected president, they sure tried,” Wallace concluded. “Who is to say they won’t be better at it in 2020? That should be a nonpartisan issue.”