Donald Trump raged against the Democrats impeachment ‘hoax’ against him in his first NATO meeting on Tuesday, calling his political rivals ‘nuts’ and ‘unpatriotic’ for their inquiry into his presidency.
‘I think it’s unpatriotic for the Democrats to do that,’ the president said during a breakfast meeting with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
‘The impeachment thing is a hoax. It’s done for political gain. They will see if they can do something in 2020, otherwise it will lose,’ he added.
President Trump raged against the Democrats impeachment ‘hoax’ in his first NATO meeting
President Trump met with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Tuesday morning
He also blasted his political rivals as ‘nuts’ and said he has great support among Republicans.
‘The Democrats are nuts,’ Trump said. ‘The impeachment hoax is going nowhere. We have tremendous support. In the history of the Republican Party, there’s not been this support.’
He also ruled out a censure resolution against him as ‘impossible.’
The censure resolution had been discussed as an alternative to impeachment with some speculation Democrats could win over some Republican lawmakers if they offered to censure the president instead of formally impeaching him.
While an impeachment vote is expected to pass in the House, where Democrats control the chamber, a conviction of the president is seen as unlikely in the Republican controlled Senate.
The president reiterated his argument he did nothing wrong in his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
‘I did nothing wrong. I had a great conversation. Very respective conversation, with the president, a good person by the way,’ Trump said. ‘It was flawless. There were many people on that line, including the secretary of state. And two people had a complaint.’
Trump’s comments come as Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said his committee’s report on their two weeks of hearings on the impeachment inquiry will be released Tuesday evening.
The intelligence panel was charged with writing a report to send to the House Judiciary Committee, which is the panel that will write any formal articles of impeachment against the president.
‘Tomorrow night we’ll also have a vote to formally transmit the committee report to Judiciary. At the same time, that’s not the end of our investigation, so even while Judiciary does its work, we will continue investigating. We’re continuing to issue subpoenas. We’re continuing to learn new information,’ Schiff told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Monday evening.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on Wednesday, when Trump is wrapping up his NATO meetings.
Democrats allege Trump with held nearly $400 million in U.S. assistance to the Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden along with a probe of an unproven conspiracy theory that the Ukraine – and not Russia – interfered in the 2016 election.
The president also unloaded on the Democratic-run impeachment effort as he left the White House for the NATO summit.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said his committee’s report on impeachment will be released Tuesday evening
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler begins his first impeachment hearing on Wednesday
Republicans, led by California Rep. Devin Nunes, released their own report on the impeachment inquiry on Monday
‘The whole thing is a hoax, everybody knows it,’ Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, asked why he wouldn’t order administration or his own team of lawyers to participate in a key Judiciary Committee hearing that is set for just minutes before his own scheduled press conference.
He blasted Democrats for scheduling the committee hearing for Wednesday.
‘The Democrats, the radical left Democrats, the do nothing Democrats decided when I’m going to NATO … that was the exact time. This is one of the most important journeys we make as president. And for them to be doing this and saying this and putting an impeachment on the table, which is a hoax,’ he said.
Neither the president nor his attorneys will participate in Wednesday’s hearing, the White House said late Sunday night.
‘We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings. More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing,’ White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler.
Cipollone also accused Nadler of ‘no doubt purposely’ scheduling the hearing while Trump will be at the NATO meeting in London.
‘The American people deserve transparency,’ Nadler said in his response. ‘If the President thinks the call was ‘perfect’ and there is nothing to hide then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power.’
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in London Monday night
Democrats are sprinting to try to complete their impeachment inquiry by the end of the year, which could set up a trial in the Senate after January.
Meanwhile, Republicans on three key House committees have written their own impeachment inquiry report as a prebuttal to the Democrats’ report.
The GOP’s 123-page argument includes the conclusion that President Trump’s hesitation to meet with Zelensky and provide military aid to the country was ‘entirely prudent.’
And it claims there is ‘indisputable evidence’ to support the theory that Ukraine’s leaders attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election by siding with Hillary Clinton.
The report disputes that Trump was laying out a ‘quid pro quo’ with Ukraine when he asked the country’s new leader to investigate alleged corruption linked to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
It says Trump held a ‘deep-seated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism’ of Ukraine due to its history of corruption, and acted properly in slow-walking hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money.
And it reinforces a conspiracy theory that Democrats dispute: that Ukraine, either instead of or in addition to Russia, meddled on Hillary Clinton’s side in the election that shot Trump to power.