A leading House Democrat said he isn’t surprised by President Donald Trump’s recent willingness to work with Democratic congressional leaders because, he said, Trump has “no ideology.”
“He’s not conservative. He’s not liberal,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC News Chief News Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.
“The only consistent theme seems to be he’s pro-Trump,” the California congressman said of the president. “He’s for his own personal interest.”
Trump earlier this month made a deal with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California to increase the federal debt limit and fund the government until mid-December, surprising leaders in his own party.
Then last week, Trump dined with Schumer and Pelosi to discuss possible ways to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and issues of border security.
Stephanopoulos asked Schiff if he viewed Trump’s recent outreach to Democrats as genuine considering that this morning the president retweeted a mockup of a GIF showing him hitting a golf ball that knocks down his former election rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“It doesn’t make me question that because I think all of us recognize that outreach for what it is, and that’s purely transactional, purely something that will come up from time to time when the president decides it’s in his personal interest to work with Democrats,” Schiff said. “This is a president, look, who has no ideology.”
Sometimes the president’s “personal interests” will align with the national interest, the California representative said. “And we shouldn’t cut off our nose to spite our face where they do align, where it makes sense for the American people. We should take advantage of that transactional opportunity.”
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Schiff continued, “It is distressing, though, to have a president that, frankly, will tweet and retweet things as juvenile as that. It doesn’t help him in terms of his stature, it doesn’t help in terms of the stature of our whole country.”
He also said the Trump administration should “admit” that former President Obama’s administration “did some things right.”
“I don’t know why it it’s so hard for this administration, whether it’s on climate or on Iran or on our strategy of defeating ISIS, to acknowledge that the prior administration did some things right,” Schiff said. “We can certainly make improvements on what the last administration did, but they did lay some important building blocks.”