President Trump said Democrats shouldn’t hold public hearings in the impeachment inquiry.
Speaking to reporters at the White House before a trip to Atlanta, Trump said the public hearings were a continuation of a “hoax."
"They shouldn't be having public hearings. This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witch hunt," Trump said.
Some background: Democrats announced the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry will begin next week. Top US diplomat in the Ukraine Bill Taylor, State Department official George Kent and former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch are scheduled to testify.
The public hearings will be conducted just by the House Intelligence Committee. Under rules passed by the House last week, both Democrats and Republicans will have 45-minute blocks to question witnesses in which staff attorneys can participate.
Remember: Trump and the Republican party have criticized the impeachment inquiry, which began with closed-door depositions limited to the House committees directly involved in the investigation, for a lack of transparency. The House voted last week to formalize the impeachment inquiry, a resolution that included protocols for the public hearings.