‘The strongest echo’: Schiff likens Trump’s coronavirus response to impeachment debacle

Rep. Adam Schiff has long been a critic of President Donald Trump — and even a global pandemic won’t change that.

In an interview Friday, Schiff said Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak is “a profound and disturbing echo” of the president’s Senate impeachment trial earlier this year, The Hill reported. House Democrats had charged Trump with abusing his power and obstructing justice with regard to a phone call he made to Ukraine’s leader, but the Senate acquitted the president in early February, according to the Associated Press, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was just getting underway.

“The strongest echo”

Schiff told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Friday that when House Democrats were lobbying the Senate to impeach Trump, they posed the question: “We have an election in nine months; how much damage could he really do?”

“We answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage, but frankly, Chris, I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead,” Schiff told Hayes, according to a report from Townhall. “There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead in significant part because of his incompetence, because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first.”

Schiff went on to say “the strongest echo from the trial was when [Trump] was talking about how he didn’t want to return the calls from governors, he didn’t want his vice president to return calls from governors that weren’t saying nice things about him,” The Hill reported.

“That was such a profound and disturbing echo of what he tried to do with Ukraine,” the California Democrat alleged, according to The Hill. “Sadly, as we pointed out in the trial, a man with no moral compass will not find his way, and this president certainly hasn’t.”

Take a look at Schiff’s full interview, courtesy of MSNBC:

Closing the door

Schiff also alleged in his Friday interview that Trump’s “insecurities” led him “to do away with anything associated with President [Barack] Obama,” leaving “the nation unprotected” in the wake of COVID-19. But defenders of the president have pointed out that Trump imposed restrictions on travel from China, where the outbreak originated, early on — and he even received criticism from Democrats for doing so.

“Isn’t it interesting that a president who has been demagoguing and demonizing immigrants, the first thing that he could think about is closing down the border?” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders remarked during a Democratic presidential primary debate with former Vice President Joe Biden in early March, according to the Daily Wire.

Biden also went after Trump’s decision to cut off travel, tweeting on Feb. 1, “We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.”

Contrastingly — and remarkably — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has in recent days taken to accusing the president of not doing enough to curb immigration from China in the early days of the pandemic.

“Tens of thousands of people were still allowed in from China. It wasn’t as it is described as this great moment,” Pelosi told CNN on Sunday, according to The Hill. “If you’re going to shut the door because you have an evaluation of an epidemic, then shut the door.”

Can the Democrats make up their minds already?

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