NEW YORK – A somber President Donald Trump said Wednesday he thought he had avoided impeachment after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
"I thought we won," Trump said during a news conference at the United Nations. "I thought it was dead."
Trump, speaking at the close of three days of meetings at the U.N., lashed out at Democrats and the media over the fallout of revelations that he pressed Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival.
Calling Trump's actions with regard to Ukraine an abuse of power and a betrayal of his oath of office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday announced the formal launch of an impeachment inquiry of Trump.
In angry and at times meandering remarks, Trump accused Democrats of timing an impeachment inquiry against him to coincide with his meetings at the U.N.
“No other president should have to go through what I’ve gone through,” he said.
The president maintains there was no impropriety in his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he pushed for an investigation of Biden, the former vice president and frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the 2020 election. Biden's son served on the board of an energy company in Ukraine.
The phone call: Summary of Trump's call with Ukraine president made public
The president released the summary of his phone call with Zelensky on Wednesday before the two leaders met at the United Nations General Assembly. The summary confirmed Trump had asked the Ukrainian president several times to look into Biden and his son, Hunter. But Democrats are hoping a whistleblower’s complaint pertaining to Ukraine will shed more light on the president's interactions with Zelensky.
Lawmakers on Wednesday were reviewing the whistleblower’s complaint, which had previously been withheld by the Justice Department and the acting director of national intelligence.
Trump-Zelensky meeting: Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky on Trump phone call: 'Nobody pushed me'
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump: I thought impeachment was 'dead' after Mueller report