Monday, October 21, 2019

FACT CHECK: Censure-able? AZ Rep. Biggs Says Schiff's Trump/Zelensky Call Was "Egregiously False" - WATCH COMMENTS

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs has spent the last three weeks calling for fellow Rep. Adam Schiff to be censured for his characterization of the infamous phone call between Presidents Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky.

Biggs (R-CD5) accuses Schiff (D-CA) of having "manufactured a false retelling" and wants him censured for "this egregiously false and fabricated retelling (that) had no relationship to the call itself. Biggs' sold his initial resolution hard during media appearances and on social media, and gathered 148 Republican cosponsors.

Last week, he revised the resolution to add an allegation (ironically) raised by a New York Times article noting that Schiff's Intelligence Committee staff had been contacted by the whistleblower about the call between the U.S. President and the President of Ukraine before filing his/her complaint and that Schiff "lied to the American people".

The updated resolution (read, below) is to be brought to the floor tonight.

The characterization of the Trump/Zelensky call

The allegedly "egregiously false and fabricated retelling" took place at the House Intelligence Committee hearing on September 26, at which Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified. It was part of Schiff's opening remarks.

As shown in the video, Schiff summarizes Zelensky's role in the conversation. Then he says "And, what is the President's (Trump's) response. Well, it reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates." (Key phrases have been underlined.)

At the end of the exaggerated retelling, Schiff again notes that he was not quoting Trump. "This is, in sum and character, what the President was trying to communicate with the President of Ukraine."

Although the delivery was serious, the content was obviously exaggerated and it is clear from the explicit disclaimers both before and after the characterization that Rep. Schiff was not reading "an egregiously false" transcript of the President's remarks.

If anyone is engaged in a "false retelling", it would be those who are using the Schiff comments to change the subject from the actual comments (and conduct) made by the President in his dealings with Ukraine.

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs' characterization of Schiff's September 26 comments is FALSE.

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