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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Ranking Member of the House Intel Committee Adam Schiff said "the denials from the administration" about Trump's disclosure of highly classified information to Russian officials "are really a form of non-denial denial," during an interview with NYT's David Sanger at the Center for American Progress' Ideas Conference Tuesday.

What they're not saying: Schiff added the administration's statements that "the president did not discuss war plans is a bit of a non sequitur, and saying he did not discuss sources and methods is a bit of ruse," since that's not what the report was about.

"What we are engaged in is a new war of ideas, it's not communism versus capitalism, it is autocracy and authoritarianism versus democratic forms of government," said Schiff.

What this means: Schiff warned Russians could "reverse engineer" what they learned from Trump to determine the source of the information is. Schiff said that means:

  • The source could dry up (and if the source is a human it's even more dangerous)
  • The country that shared that intel with the U.S. "could decide it can't trust the U.S. with information"
  • "Or worse, it can't trust the President with information," which gets even more dangerous "particularly if we're talking about a threat posed to Americans by ISIS," which is what the reports allege

He's right: Already we have seen European countries questioning their relationship with the U.S.

The solution: Not much of a reassuring answer from Schiff — "I have to hope that someone will counsel the president what it means to protect...information."

Go deeper

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
28 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

President Biden in Kearny, N.J., on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by proclaiming the broad contours of the proposal, which he immediately began selling in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.