Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of lying to the American people and leaking classified information provided to him while he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
"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 said in a Fox News interview, adding that Schiff's time as Intel chairman "almost ruined that committee."
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday denied Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a seat on the House Intelligence Committee.
"I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as the sole criteria for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more," McCarthy wrote in a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., that he posted on Twitter on Tuesday night.
In the letter, McCarthy added that "it is my assessment 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," and that he wants the panel to be one of "genuine honesty and credibility that regains the trust of the American people."
Pompeo said he didn't come forward to take action against Schiff if he believed classified information had been leaked because "it's a complicated process" and it's "difficult to pin down precisely what happened."
He also said he "held back" information from the committee because he "didn't feel comfortable" working with Schiff.
Schiff's office blasted Pompeo for the "false and defamatory" remarks.
"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," Schiff spokesperson Lauren French said of the former CIA director's remarks to Fox News.
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