Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff pushed back Friday on allegations that New York Rep. Jerry Nadler stole the spotlight, despite objections, during closing arguments at President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper spoke to all seven House managers Friday evening on “Anderson Cooper 360” following the Senate’s vote to acquit Trump on both impeachment charges. Towards the end of the interview, Cooper asked Schiff what really happened Jan. 30 when he appeared to object to Nadler sprinting ahead to give a closing argument.
“There was a moment – yes, as you know, the president was clearly watching all this very carefully,” Cooper said. “There was a moment when, Chairman Schiff, you were – Chairman Nadler, you were getting up to speak. Chairman Schiff, you said, ‘Jerry, Jerry.’ The president said that you guys were fighting big-time. ”
“Were you fighting big-time?”
Schiff said the two were not fighting, and blamed the rhetoric on the president, who “loves to sow division.” He added that Trump “loves to pit people against each other” and claimed it was a simple miscommunication between himself and Nadler.
“Well, we tried to choreograph our questions, so that each of us would have a different subject matter, and each of us would know when we would go up to the mic,” Schiff claimed. “We couldn’t do it – we couldn’t do it perfectly. We couldn’t do it perfectly, because some questions were repeats, and some were sort of in the midst between two.
“I don’t think Jerry knew that was going to be the last question of the evening. And so we had our signals crossed. But I think, frankly, we were pretty flawless in terms of arranging for members to be able to respond to those questions in real time.”
Nadler added to that, dismissing the idea that he was trying to have the last word, as it appeared to viewers.
In the original clip, Chief Justice John Roberts read the last question of the evening, provided by Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The question asked House managers to give senators any other comments before the trial ended for the night.
Rep. Jerry Nadler got up to get the last word in for the night. Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, got up and tried to get Nadler’s attention: “Jerry. Jerry. Jerry.” pic.twitter.com/M5K2OBXoK1
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 31, 2020
Schiff was sitting closer to the podium and stood up to respond to the question, but Nadler scurried ahead of him. Schiff could be heard calling Nadler’s name, but the pleas went unanswered as the New York congressman began his speech.
“Jerry, Jerry, Jerry,” Schiff said as Nadler ignored him and delivered remarks. (RELATED: ‘The Senate Is On Trial’: Jerry Nadler Says The Impeachment Is No Longer Just About The President)
Trump tweeted that the two were “fighting big time!” the day after the incident happened.