House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday morning that it is possible the Russians are using online tactics to "divide and conquer" the United States but added that President Trump is himself "willfully fanning the flames of this violence."
SCHIFF: Well, first of all, Dana, I condemn any of the violence that's going on. And I find it astounding that my colleague in the Senate can't simply condemn this. The peaceful protests, I think, are calling out, in a very important way, the murder of so many black men and women at the hands of police. And those protests are in the best tradition of the United States. But we need to make sure that they're peaceful, as they largely have been, and that there aren't these incidents of violence. In terms of what we can expect from the Russians or what the Russians are doing, the Russians, four years ago, Dana, exploited Black Lives Matter. They set up their own false flags online to try to divide people along racial lines.
BASH: Are they doing it now?
SCHIFF: And we have to -- they are once again doing their best in social media, in their overt media, and other means to grow these divisions again.
And I think that most pernicious, we got to -- we have to worry about their aggravating these tensions in our cities. We also have to worry about the Russians pushing out the president's false narratives about voting by mail. But, finally, on the protests, Dana, I want to underscore something that you were asking Senator Johnson about. And that is, the president is willfully fanning the flames of this violence.
As his own adviser Kellyanne Conway said last week, they believe the violence is helpful to them. And the president is only motivated by one thing, what's in it for him. And he sees this violence and the -- and his ability to agitate more of it as useful to his campaign. What it does to the country, the loss of life, he doesn't care; 180,000 people have died from the pandemic because of his incompetence and this malignant narcissism.
And he simply not only won't act to stop the violence in the streets, but he will try to send federal National Guard forces or others to aggravate it if he can. He will stoke it through his social media where he can, because he believes the violence helps him. That is the sad and tragic truth about this, but also about the Trump presidency more generally.