A downbeat donald trump on wednesday dismissed as a “shaggy dog story” the grounds laid out for the impeachment inquiry into him, as democrats stood firm in accusing the united states president of a “mafia-fashion shakedown” of his ukrainian counterpart.
trump denied claims he abused his office by way of time and again urging president volodymyr zelensky to probe his rival joe biden — as confirmed in a call transcript launched through the white house.
“they are getting hit tough on this witch hunt due to the fact after they look at the records, it´s a shaggy dog story,” said the president, who struck an uncharacteristically subdued tone at his first information conference since democrats launched an official impeachment inquiry.
“impeachment for that? if you have a exquisite meeting or you’ve got a remarkable phone verbal exchange?”
a greater defiant trump had earlier insisted he exerted “no strain” on kiev — a declare echoed by using zelensky, who appeared side-through-facet with the us chief at an extended-planned assembly on the sidelines of the un general assembly.
but the guide of the transcript sent new shockwaves through washington, such as within the ranks of trump´s republican birthday party, with senator mitt romney calling it “deeply troubling.”
competing narratives right away took hold.
trump and his allies claimed the july 25 call contained no evidence of a quid pro quo pressuring zelensky to probe the president´s top democratic rival for the white residence.
democrats in the meantime held it up as a smoking gun.
“that is how a mafia boss talks,” charged senior lawmaker adam schiff.
“´what have you ever executed for us? we´ve completed so much for you but there´s not much reciprocity. i’ve a favor to ask you.´”
“and what is that desire? of course, the want is to investigate his political rival, to analyze the bidens.”
the decision precis — which isn’t a verbatim transcript — suggests trump announcing us attorney general bill barr and the president´s private attorney rudy giuliani might be in contact about probing the ukraine-related sports of biden and his son.
in saying the impeachment probe, house speaker nancy pelosi stated trump´s movements amounted to a betrayal of his oath of workplace and of national security.
‘no one driven me’
as barack obama´s vice president, biden and different western leaders compelled ukraine to eliminate the us of a´s top prosecutor, viktor shokin, because he was visible as now not difficult enough on corruption.
“there´s numerous talk about biden´s son, that biden stopped the prosecution and a number of humans need to discover approximately that so some thing you could do with the lawyer general would be fantastic,” trump told zelensky inside the name.
“biden went round bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you may investigate it… it sounds terrible to me.”
the transcript did not display trump explicitly tying aid to ukraine to zelensky probing biden, which has fed the calls to impeach him.
but the two did talk a main resource package, which have been frozen by using trump at the time and turned into simplest released in latest weeks.
the memo also suggests trump asking zelensky for a “prefer” on an difficulty unconnected to biden — simply after noting that the us have been “very, excellent to ukraine.”
analysts noted that the transcript uses ellipses — denoting words or entire passages are lacking — on three occasions, all while trump is making requests of zelensky.
others talked about that it was supposed to summarize a 30-minute name, yet the transcript runs to round just 12 minutes.
“there has been no pressure in any respect,” trump told journalists earlier wednesday, announcing democrats had constructed up the change as the “call from hell” however that “it grew to become out to be a not anything call.”
zelensky insisted meanwhile that he had no longer been “driven” by means of trump for the duration of the arguable name.
‘a disgraceful factor’
faced with the possibility of becoming the 0.33 us president in history to be impeached, trump has pushed again difficult — branding the probe the “unmarried greatest witch hunt in american records… a disgraceful issue.”
pelosi had for months resisted pressure from the party rank-and-document for impeachment, who prefer to awareness on subsequent 12 months´s election combat.
but on tuesday, she relented, eleven days after information that an anonymous us intelligence respectable had filed a whistleblower grievance on trump´s alleged double-dealing with ukraine.
democrats made clear the white house´s launch of the decision report could no longer fulfill their investigation into whether or not america chief broke the law, and the complaint has now been reviewed by using lawmakers.
top democratic senator chuck schumer advised reporters after analyzing the whistleblower criticism that “it´s very troubling” — an assessment echoed via republican senator ben sasse, who said that “there´s obviously masses that´s very troubling there.”
trump told thursday´s information conference that he supported “transparency” over the whistleblower, including but that the source´s information turned into “supposedly 2d-hand.”
the subsequent explosive episode within the hastily unfolding impeachment drama is about for thursday, when acting director of national intelligence joseph mcguire testifies on capitol hill.