Democratic members of Congress have demanded in a letter that President Obama brief them on “Russian interference” in the election before leaving office, and Schiff was one of those who signed.
To promote their cause, the California representative appeared on Fox News, and one of the most epic showdowns in the recent history of the network ensued. Carlson left the Democratic representative looking completely ridiculous, after the latter accused the host of being an “apologist for the Kremlin,” and telling him that he will need to “move his show to RT.”
“The information was true, and voters got to see that, and it helped them assess how they wanted to vote. Why is that bad? Are you really arguing against more information for voters?” Carlson asked.
“Are you really arguing in favor of a foreign adversarial party hacking into the American —” a stunned-looking Schiff began.
Tucker then asserted that he was not arguing in favor of it, but that the information was placed into the public view — and thus voters had the right to see and assess it.
Schiff then asserted that President-elect Donald Trump was the only beneficiary of “Russian meddling,” which was quickly shot down as “speculation” by Carlson. Schiff continued to assert that the intelligence community claimed that the Kremlin was behind the hacks.
“Here’s the thing,” Carlson began, “I’ve lived here a long time, I remember vividly the ‘massive stockpiles of WMD’s in Iraq,’ which the intelligence community assured us were there, and they weren’t, so pardon my skepticism, I think it’s a patriotic position.”
Schiff appeared to grow increasingly flustered and continued to push McCarthyist anti-Russian sentiment, which Carlson hilariously mocked.
“I’m confused by what you are alleging,” Carlson interjected. “You’re saying that you believe the Russian government hacked into John Podesta’s emails and that the voters knew too much? Then you’re saying what, that they hacked voting machines? What are you saying?”
Schiff then said that if the Russians had hacked into Carlson’s emails, that he would not seek to justify their release.
“Are you arguing that voters should not have seen that information?” Carlson repeated several times.
Eventually, Schiff admitted that in some cases the press should publish information that is illegally obtained, if it is of great public interest, but continued to claim that Russia was behind the hack and that the press are responsible for reporting where the information came from.
“You’re carrying water for the Kremlin,” the clearly desperate representative said, now trying to deflect the conversation. “You’re going to have to move your show to RT — Russian Television.”
The assertion drew big laughs from the host, who called his statement “so dumb.”
“You know what — that is just so beneath your office, because it is so dumb, you’re being duplicitous,” Carlson laughed. “I’m asking you, did they hack Podesta’s emails and you can’t say it.”
Carlson asked him, again, to look into the camera and say the Russian government hacked Podesta’s emails.
“You can’t, and you know you can’t, and you’re hiding behind weasel-words,” Carlson said. “Say they hacked John Podesta’s emails.”
The flustered Schiff then accused Carlson of ignoring that Russia is behind the hack because it benefitted the Republican candidate. He also accused the Fox host of being an “apologist” for the Kremlin.
“I just think if you’re going to make a serious allegation about an actual country, which an actual government, you ought to know what you are talking about — and you don’t!” Carlson laughed.
The heated, and highly entertaining, exchange ended with the host mocking the congressman by saying, "I need to take a call from Vladimir Putin…so I need to put you on hold for one second."