President Trump on Friday railed against the House impeachment probe and the witnesses who testified over his objection, torched Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi and decried what he called rampant corruption in “the Swamp.”
“In light of all of the things going on, and you know what I mean by that, the fake news, the Comeys of the world, all of the bad things that went on, it’s called the Swamp,” the president said on the White House lawn, referring to fired FBI chief James Comey, a frequent punching bag.
“And you know what happened and you know what I did? A big favor. I caught the Swamp. I caught them all. Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on and nobody else could have done it.”
The president spoke at length before boarding Marine One for the first leg of a fundraising trip to Georgia, asserting that he wasn’t worried about the impeachment probe or any of the testimony from a parade of witnesses who have offered details of the president’s Ukraine policy.
“I’m not concerned about anything. The testimony has all been fine. For the most part, I never even heard of these people. I have no idea who they are,” he said about the witnesses, which included White House and State Department staffers as well as Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the EU.
Many Trump officials, however, abided by the president’s demand that they not cooperate, including Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
“You have some never Trumpers. All that matters is one thing, the transcript. The transcript is perfect,” he said, referring to a partial transcript released by the White House of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Vollodymyr Zelensky.
During the call, Trump asked Zelensky for “a favor” — that he open investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter as well as the 2016 at a time when nearly $400 million in military aid was being withheld from the country.
“So what [Democrats] do is they go all over Washington, let’s find 10 people that hate President Trump the most and let’s put them up there. In no cases that I’ve heard, in no cases that I see have I been hurt,” Trump continued, before adding his belief that the proceedings were ”a hoax.”
“They shouldn’t be having public hearings. This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witch hunt. This is a continuation of the hoax. It’s a disgraceful thing,” Trump insisted.
He then gave an extended defense of his call with Zelensky, said he would release a transcript of a second call with the Ukraine leader and again slammed Schiff, chair of the House intel committee, for reading what he later described as a parody of the transcript.
“Adam Schiff is a corrupt politician. He made up a speech and he put my voice in it. He made up a speech that had nothing to do with what I said. Adam Schiff is a corrupt politician that is not giving us due process, and despite all that, we’re kicking their ass,” he said before turning to his call with Ukraine’s president.
“It’s a very simple thing. I had a very good call with the president of Ukraine. The call was perfect. Now they’re after — I have a second call, which nobody knew about, and I get they want that call to be produced, also,” he said.
“I had a [second] call with the president which actually came before this one and now they all want that one. And if they want it, I’ll give it to them. I haven’t seen it recently, but I’ll give it to them. I understand they would like it and I have no problem giving it to them,” he said.
Asked why he would want Ukraine to investigate the Bidens when he had not asked his own Justice Department to do so, Trump said his only concern was corruption, not personal political gain.
“We are looking for corruption. We’re giving hundreds of millions of dollars and we’re looking for corruption. And all you have to do is take a look at Biden and you’ll see tremendous corruption. What he did is quid pro quo times 10,” he said.
Hunter Biden scored a $50,000 a month gig at Ukraine energy giant Burisma while his father was veep.
Joe Biden had threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine under a different president unless they fired a prosecutor accused of rampant corruption, and there is no known evidence that either Biden did anything wrong.
The president acknowledged that he didn’t ask the Justice Dept. to probe the Bidens.
“I never spoke to them about anything. [Attorney General] Bill Barr can do whatever he wants to do. But I saw the same tape on television, and the tape shows that Joe Biden is a crook. And the fake news which is you and you, you don’t want to do anything about it,” Trump said, referring to a video in which Biden boasts about getting the crooked prosecutor canned and holding up the aid.
The president then offered up a defense of his often harsh rhetoric, blaming Democrats and the media for prompting it.
“You shaped my behavior, because from the day I came in here, I’ve [had] problems with phony stuff, like a phony dossier that turned out to be false, like false investigations that I’ve beaten. So a lot of my behavior was shaped by the fake news and by the other side. That was a lot of my behavior,” he said.
Asked about Sondland, who this week amended his earlier testimony that there was no quid pro quo involving Ukraine to say that he believed there was.
“Let me just tell you, I hardly know the gentleman,” he said about Sondland, a hotelier who gave $1 million to Trump’s inaugural.
“But this is the man who said there was no quid pro quo, and he still said that, and he said that I said that, and he hasn’t changed that testimony,” Trump insisted.
The president went on to slam House Speaker Pelosi and her San Francisco district.
“Nancy Pelosi, she should go back to her district, which is horrible. It’s filthy, it’s drug-infested. The stuff is being flown out to the ocean. It’s being wiped out to the ocean through their drainage system. But these are corrupt politicians,” he said, though it was unclear what “stuff” he was referring to.
And he also took aim at the whistleblower, reportedly a member of the intelligence community.
“I’ll tell you, the whistle-blower, I call him the fake whistle-blower. He gave a fake report of my phone call. My phone call was perfect. He made it sound bad,” Trump said.
“The whistle-blower is a disgrace to our country, and the whistle-blower, because of that, should be revealed. This whole thing is a phony deal. It’s a crooked deal. These are crooked people. They lost an election and they lost it big. It was really a landslide from the electoral college standpoint. And they lost it big and they still haven’t recovered and they’re going to lose again,” he added.
“Nancy Pelosi is a corrupt politician. Shifty Schiff is a double corrupt politician. “
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