Rep. Adam Schiff couldn’t find the words to comfort his ‘devastated’ staffers after Trump won the 2016 election

Adam Schiff
In this file photo from Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, arrives on the floor of the House of Representatives.

  • Rep. Adam Schiff gathered his “devastated” staffers for a “pep talk” after Trump won the 2016 election.
  • Schiff told his staff plainly: “We’re fucked,” according to his new memoir.
  • “I just wasn’t up to it, not yet, and I promised them that I would have more to say after I gathered my own bearings,” Schiff wrote.

Rep. Adam Schiff revealed in his new memoir that he gave a “pep talk” to his staffers who were stunned after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, telling them: “We’re fucked.”

The California Democrat, who serves as chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, wrote that he gathered staffers in his Washington, DC, office about a week after Trump topped then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a surprise upset.

“They were young and idealistic and desperately concerned about what it meant to the country and to our future,” he wrote in the memoir, “Midnight In Washington.” He went on to recount telling his staffers that he knew how “worried” they were and that the election results meant a lot “for all that we care about.”

But “‘I just want to tell you, by way of encouragement … we’re fucked,'” he said with a dejected smile, adding that he was aware that wasn’t the kind of pep talk they had anticipated, the book said.

“I just wasn’t up to it, not yet, and I promised them that I would have more to say after I gathered my own bearings,” Schiff wrote.

Trump’s presidency turned Washington, DC, upside down and deepened the already frayed political divisions between Democrats and Republicans.

Schiff, in particular, went from a relatively low profile lawmaker on the historically bipartisan House intelligence panel to something of a bete noire for Republicans, in large part because of his dogged pursuit of investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government.

Members of the “Gang of Eight” and the intelligence committee, both of which Schiff was part of, were informed before the public that Russia had waged an elaborate and multifaceted campaign to intervene in the 2016 election to denigrate Clinton and elevate Trump to the Oval Office.

He wrote in his memoir that although the intelligence committee started its investigation into the matter on a bipartisan basis, Democrats and Republicans quickly diverged in their purposes, with Democrats focusing on investigating the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian nationals, and Republicans demanding leak investigations and casting doubt on the veracity of the US intelligence community’s findings vis-a-vis Russia’s meddling.

Schiff butted heads in particular with GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, a fellow California lawmaker and the chairman of the committee. Schiff wrote that their relationship grew particularly fraught when it surfaced that Nunes was coordinating with the White House while serving on a committee that was supposed to be investigating the White House.

The House’s Russia inquiry was rife with discord, conflicted messaging, and a lack of clear direction, so much so that Schiff wrote in his memoir that he was envious of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which drew praise for conducting a more bipartisan, fact-based investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia.

The California Democrat took over as chairman of the House committee in 2019, after Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms. He subsequently took the lead in a number of investigations into Trump’s business and financial activities, and his committee also led Trump’s first impeachment inquiry related to his Ukraine dealings.

Schiff served as the lead House impeachment manager after Trump was impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and he made headlines when he warned during Trump’s Senate trial, that if Congress didn’t convict and remove him from office, he would try to “cheat” in the 2020 election again.

Trump was ultimately acquitted and Schiff went on to joke about that first impeachment just under a year later when hiding out from pro-Trump insurrectionists. They had laid siege to the US Capitol after Trump, aggrieved over his 2020 election loss, encouraged them to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory based on nonsense claims of widespread fraud.

“You said this would happen,” a Democratic colleague told Schiff while they were hunkering down, his book said.

“Well, I didn’t say this would happen,” Schiff wrote that he replied.

“You warned that he would try to cheat again,” the unnamed lawmaker said of Trump.

“It didn’t require any great clairvoyance,” Schiff said, per the book. He then tacked on: “Someone really should have impeached that son of a bitch.”

Read the original article on Business Insider