After the White House spent a week talking about the importance of decorum, President Donald Trump over the weekend fired off a tweet alluding to profanity in reference to California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.
Trump made either a typo or an intentional decision on Saturday when he tweeted about Schiff — the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who will become the committee’s chair in the next Congress — and compared his name to the word “shit.”
“So funny to see little Adam Schitt (D-CA) talking about the fact that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was not approved by the Senate, but not mentioning the fact that Bob Mueller (who is highly conflicted) was not approved by the Senate!” Trump wrote.
Whitaker became acting attorney general earlier this month after Trump fired now-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He’s a controversial figure and, like the president, has repeatedly criticized Mueller, the special counsel heading the Russia investigation.
So funny to see little Adam Schitt (D-CA) talking about the fact that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was not approved by the Senate, but not mentioning the fact that Bob Mueller (who is highly conflicted) was not approved by the Senate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2018
As incoming House Intelligence Committee chair, Schiff has said he will continue to push the Russia investigation, reviving the committee’s probe and backing Mueller even if Trump or his allies try to intervene.
President Trump just removed Jeff Sessions. He wants an Attorney General to serve his interest, not the public.
Mueller's investigation and the independence of the DOJ must be protected. Whitaker and any nominee must commit to doing both.
We will protect the rule of law.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 7, 2018
He appeared on ABC’s This Week with Martha Raddatz on Sunday (hours before Trump tweeted about him) and said he believes Whitaker’s appointment is unconstitutional, as he should be subject to Senate confirmation.
“Constitutionally, it has to be subject to confirmation,” Schiff said, calling Whitaker’s appointment “flawed” because of statutory issues and because “he was chosen for the purpose of interfering with the Mueller investigation.” Vox’s Andrew Prokop has a full explainer of the controversies surrounding Whitaker’s appointment, including questions about its constitutionality.
Trump hasn’t amended the “Schitt” tweet
Trump and the White House spent a lot of time complaining about the need for decorum last week as part of its ongoing battle with CNN and journalist Jim Acosta, whose press credentials the Trump administration revoked earlier this month.
“There must be decorum in the White House,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement after a judge last week ruled to temporarily restore Acosta’s credentials.
“Decorum. You can’t just take three questions and four questions, and just stand up and not sit down. Decorum. You have to practice decorum,” Trump said on Friday during a bill signing when asked about the CNN ruling.
Trump appears not to be concerned with his own decorum, considering Sunday’s tweet. The message could be a typo — the president is also the person who brought us “covfefe” and often makes mistakes in his tweets. But he also could have deleted and redone the tweet with the correct spelling, which he did not. And Trump is quite a fan of nicknames, including Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, and Lyin’ Ted.
The tweet garnered a swift reaction online.
CNN’s Manu Raju pointed out the timing after the White House’s call for decorum.
Trump calls for “decorum” at the White House and then a couple days later calls the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee “Schitt”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 18, 2018
Former top government ethics watchdog Walter Shaub tweeted that the office of the president was made for “better things than an infantile tweet misspelling a congressman’s name like a curse word,” but said the “real crime” is Trump firing heads of agencies for investigating his campaign.
The Office of the President was made for better things than an infantile tweet misspelling a congressman’s name like a curse word. But the real crime is its corrupt occupant being allowed by a morally bankrupt congress to fire the heads of agencies for investigating his campaign.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 18, 2018
Schiff also responded and alluded to the written questions the president is expected to soon submit to the special counsel as part of the Russia investigation.
Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one.
Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself? https://t.co/Yd27sayt7C
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 18, 2018