Amid uproar over the release of a bombshell memo on a phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president, the commander-in-chief continued his counter-offensive Wednesday with his third press conference of the day.
He used a familiar gaslight tactic from the Trump playbook, accusing Democrats of the exact charges he is facing — in this case, pressuring Ukraine to help his political agenda.
“They went there and they wanted to force the new president to do things that they wanted under the form of political threat,” he said of congressional Democrats.
“That’s what they’re accusing me of, but I didn’t do it.”
He also insinuated former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden took out “millions of dollars” from Ukraine and China, though he gave no details or evidence of the inflammatory charges.
Trump said he insisted on “transparency from Joe Biden and his son Hunter on the millions of dollars that have been quickly and easily taken out of Ukraine and China — millions of dollars, millions and millions of dollars — taken out very rapidly while he was vice president.”
The president singled out Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy and Bob Menendez for a May letter they reportedly wrote Ukraine’s prosecutor general regarding investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe.
“Doesn’t that sound familiar?" Trump sarcastically said alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
The press conference came after the White House earlier Wednesday released the transcript of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump urged Zelensky to investigate the Bidens as a “favor,” giving extra fuel to congressional Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“Impeachment for that?” the president incredulously said. “When you have a wonderful meeting or a wonderful phone conversation?”
He tauntingly said Dems should ask for a transcript of an additional call he held with Zelensky, as well as “V.P. (Mike) Pence’s conversation.”
During the rambling press conference, Trump also boasted about numerous meetings he held with foreign leaders on the sidelines of this week’s U.N. General Assembly. He also revisited one of his obsessions, his 2016 presidential victory over Hillary Clinton, admonishing her for her campaign strategy at the time.
He laced the asides with invective against the news media, saying, “It’s all a hoax folks, all a big hoax.”