On Wednesday, President Donald Trump accused Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of launching an impeachment inquiry in order to distract from Trump’s diplomatic successes at the United Nations summit this week and from the positive economic news.
“The Democrats did this hoax right in the middle of United Nations week. “It was perfect [timing] because, in this way, it takes away from the enormous achievements that we’re doing.”
“The witch hunt continues, but they’re getting hit hard on this witch hunt,” he said.
The president referenced the transcript of a July 25 call between him and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling it a “beautiful conversation.” Democrats focused on the fact that Trump asked Zelensky to aid an investigation into Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s corruption in Ukraine, but Trump also asked the Ukrainian president to look into DNC hacking in the 2016 election. While Trump had suspended $391 million in military aid to Ukraine before the call, the funding did not come up in the call and there was no quid pro quo.
“When they look at the transcript, it’s a joke. Impeachment, for that?!” Trump suggested that Democrats should look at the transcripts of an earlier call with Zelensky as well.
He also noted that Democratic senators sent a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, asking Ukraine to continue probes into Trump related to the Mueller investigation and implying that they would oppose U.S. military aid to Ukraine if the investigations were closed. Similarly, former Vice President Joe Biden bragged about using a similar quid pro quo to get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired — as that prosecutor was set to investigate a company on whose board was none other than Hunter Biden.
Of the Democrats, the president said, “They don’t care about our country, they care about the election.”
Trump mentioned some notable diplomatic news being overshadowed by the impeachment inquiry. On Wednesday, Trump signed a trade deal with the third-largest country in the world, Japan. The president also met with a coalition of Latin American leaders who recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido over socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro, coordinating the international efforts against Maduro.
In the press conference, the president announced that “Poland has agreed to put up 100 percent of the money … of hosting additional U.S. military personnel.”
Poland has agreed to build new facilities for U.S. troops and to foot the bill for them.
He met closely with leaders from Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt, South Korea, United Kingdom, India, Iraq, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, France, Japan, Ukraine, Honduras, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
On immigration, Trump faulted the Democrats, pointing to deals with other countries as the path forward.
“It’s very sad what the Democrats are doing to this country,” he said. “We could do asylum quickly. … Instead, we actually make deals with Mexico, with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras.” He also noted that the wall on the southern border is being built: “It’s going up in New Mexico, it’s going up in Arizona, it’s going up in California.”
Trump also noted that he was the very first U.S. president — “I can’t believe that I’m first” — to host a UN meeting focused on “protecting religious freedom and liberty for people around the world.”
When it comes to the economy, he noted that “for the first time in many years, wages are up and employment is up and unemployment is down, and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.”
It seems unlikely Democrats really did choose the timing of impeachment in order to distract from Trump’s UN news, but this flimsy impeachment inquiry does support the president’s claim that Democrats care more about the election than about the well-being of the country.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.