One day before the House of Representatives is set to vote on impeachment, President Trump said he didn’t plan to watch the House proceedings but is looking ahead to a Senate trial.
“I’m not watching. I have not seen it. Look it’s a hoax, the whole impeachment thing is a hoax. We look forward to getting onto the Senate. We’re not entitled to lawyers, we’re not entitled to witnesses, we’re not entitled to anything in the House,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with the President of Guatemala, minutes after he sent a six-page, scathing letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denouncing the articles of impeachment.
The President went on to rail against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Speaking about Schiff’s enactment of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump pointed to his Guatemalan counterpart, who is visiting the White House today.
“He (Schiff) totally made it up. In Guatemala, they handle things much more different — much tougher than that. And because of immunity, he can’t be prosecuted. He took a statement and totally made it up. It was a lie, it was a fraud,” he said.
Trump repeated that he has “never seen the Republican Party so united,” specifically noting, “I believe the Senate is equally as well united. I watched Mitch McConnell this morning, I watched numerous people last night, senators, and I think we’re equally well united. They know it’s a hoax, it’s a witch hunt.”
Asked whether he would let McConnell, the Senate majority leader, decide on witnesses, Trump said yes.
“Yeah I think so and we’ll also have to decide on when we’re taking the vote for the USMCA, very important deal,” he said, adding that McConnell is going to have to decide on whether to hold a USMCA vote “first or second,” meaning before or after a Senate impeachment trial.
When asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta if he takes accountability for getting impeached, Trump said, “No. I don’t take any, zero, to put it mildly. They took a perfect phone call that I had with the President of Ukraine, an absolutely perfect call, you know it, they all know it, nothing was said wrong in that call. To impeach the President of the United States for that is a disgrace and it’s a mark on our country.”