Trump: 'I'll do whatever I want' during Senate impeachment trial

President Trump said Friday that he hasn’t decided whether to wage a long or short impeachment defense in the U.S. Senate, but either way, he expressed confidence in the outcome.

“I’ll do whatever I want. Look, there is — we did nothing wrong,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “So I’ll do long or short. I’ve heard Mitch [McConnell], I’ve heard Lindsey [Graham]. I think they are very much in agreement on some concept. I’ll do whatever they want to do, it doesn’t matter.”

During a Thursday night appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the host that his “hope is that it will be a shorter process rather than a lengthy process.” McConnell also made clear that he was acting in lockstep with the White House.

“Everything I do during [the impeachment process], I’m coordinating with White House counsel,” McConnell said. “There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”

After the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Friday to advance articles of impeachment against Trump to an expected vote next Wednesday in the full House, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., signaled his preference for a speedy trial in the Senate.

Trump also claimed Friday that his poll numbers had “gone through the roof” thanks to impeachment.

“The people are absolutely disgusted,” he said of the process. “Nobody’s ever seen anything like this.”

While Trump railed against the Democrats, saying they “made absolute fools out of themselves,” he reserved special ire for the government whistleblower who filed a formal complaint about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, sparking the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

That complaint alleged that Trump had requested that Ukraine undertake investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and into a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 presidential election. A memo released by the White House summarizing Trump’s controversial call corroborated the whistleblower’s allegation.

“I wouldn’t mind a long process because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud,” Trump said Friday. “The whistleblower wrote a false report, and I really blew it up when I released the transcript of the call.”


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