President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed the threat of impeachment over allegations that he tried to pressure Ukraine’s leader into investigating his 2020 election rival Joe Biden.
Asked if he was taking the threat from some Democrats seriously, Trump answered: “Not at all seriously.”
US media reports revealed that an intelligence community whistleblower had filed a report after becoming alarmed at Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call.
Trump has confirmed that he discussed what he says was corruption by Biden’s family during the call but denies applying pressure on Zelensky.
“We had a perfect phone call,” he told reporters on arrival at the United Nations in New York. “Everybody knows it’s just a Democrat witch hunt.”
Trump has spent much of his first term as president fighting off allegations that he benefited from Russian-sponsored interference during his surprise 2016 win over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
As the 2020 election approaches, worries are mounting over further attempts from abroad to meddle in the tense US political landscape.
Against that background, the whistleblower’s reported raising of the alarm has thrown Washington into renewed turmoil.
According to some reports Trump tried to pressure Zelensky to go after Biden by temporarily withholding US military aid to Ukraine.
Growing numbers of Democrats believe they should open impeachment proceedings against Trump. However, party leaders have resisted, knowing that the Republicans, who are in lockstep with Trump, would almost certainly prevent an impeachment trial taking place in the Senate.
The White House is under pressure to release a transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky. Democrats, who control the lower house of Congress, are also seeking to question the whistleblower, whose identity remains secret.
Rudy Giuliani admits ‘Fraud Guarantee’ paid him $500,000 to work for indicted associate
Rudy Giuliani admitted being paid a half a million dollars by an associate currently being held in federal custody, Reuters reported Monday.
"President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday. The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination," Reuters reported.
John Bolton ripped Rudy Giuliani as a drug dealer and ‘hand grenade’: report
Then-National Security Advisor John Bolton was reportedly shocked by the shadow foreign policy being conducted by Rudy Giuliani, a top former National Security Council official testified to Congress on Monday, The New York Times reports.
"The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on July 10 with Gordon D. Sondland, the Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union, who was working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to testimony provided to the investigators."
‘Vladimir Putin has something on Donald Trump’: Ambassador Sherman says the Kremlin must have kompromat
Former Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman concluded on Monday that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin must have "something" on President Donald Trump.
"The latest reporting from The New York Times indicates that the thousands of troops that we have there, that the president moved, are now trapped. They don’t have an actual way out since Turkey has cut off the roads and the exit routes that they might use and so now there is the question of will there be an airlift? How will we get the U.S. troops out?" MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asked.
"We haven’t had to get troops out like this since the fall of Saigon," Sherman replied. "This is going to be very, very difficult."