President Donald Trump sought to undermine an impeachment witness by complaining that he’d been unable to eavesdrop on telephone conversations despite repeated attempts to do so — and other social media users cringed.
Career diplomat David Holmes was called to testify Thursday in the House impeachment inquiry to describe the phone call he overheard between Trump and EU ambassador Gordon Sondland, in which the two officials allegedly discussed an extortion scheme against Ukraine.
Bill Taylor, the acting Ukraine ambassador, revealed the call last week in his testimony, and Holmes testified during a deposition that Sondland held the phone away from his ear as Trump loudly discussed the investigation of Joe Biden he wanted Ukraine’s president to announce.
Trump, as Holmes read his opening statement, questioned how that was possible, boasting that his own hearing was great but simultaneously complaining about his past attempts to overhear phone calls had not been successful.
I have been watching people making phone calls my entire life. My hearing is, and has been, great. Never have I been watching a person making a call, which was not on speakerphone, and been able to hear or understand a conversation. I’ve even tried, but to no avail. Try it live!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Other Twitter users found his defense to be baffling and weird.
extreme thanksgiving table energy right here https://t.co/40zEaa2pDg
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) November 21, 2019
Just because you are old and hard of hearing does not mean others are also. I have overheard cell phone calls many times. #BriberyIsAnImpeachableOffense
— Sandra D. Williams (@SandraDWilliam5) November 21, 2019
So you eavesdrop on everyone’s private conversations? Weird flex, but ok.
— thoughtful response fellow (@AefirStorm) November 21, 2019
If that’s the case, I have to inform you your hearing is not so great because I’ve heard both side of phone conversations simply by sitting beside someone.
— KellanSays (@kelsco17) November 21, 2019
You don’t hear because you have KFC & McD grease plugging your ear canals. Most of us can easily over-hear cell phone convos.
Chopper talk likely isn’t helping your old deaf ears.
If you weren’t so vain you’d be fitted for hearing aids.
— KelseyOnBoard 🌿 (@KelseyOnBoard) November 21, 2019
Then your hearing isn’t “great”.
Neither is your now self-confessed impulse to eavesdrop.
— Frank Truelove (@FrankQcwriter) November 21, 2019
No, your hearing is nothing special at all. I *do* nearly always hear both sides of a phone conversation in my presence. I also follow conversations on the opposite side of crowded restaurants. Your ears are ordinary. Aside from that, you’re most certainly “tone deaf” always.
— Ignatius J. Reilly (@jaguar06_rick) November 21, 2019
Get that hearing checked!
— dgenoa (@dgenoa3) November 21, 2019
P.S.: Donald Trump has clearly never listened in to a phone call from my mother.
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 21, 2019
I think the President is losing his mind right about now. There is no way we can be sure he is focused on anything but defending his own bad intentions.
— Steward Beckham (@iTweetyNerd) November 21, 2019
You tried to eavesdrop but it didn’t work?
— dawn renee (@SteelCityDawn) November 21, 2019
You said you have the best memory ever.
Yet you used the phrase ‘I don’t recall’ multiple times in testimony.
Also, saying you can’t hear other people on the phone is so WEAK, it’s frankly embarrassing.
Stop tweeting, snort a rail and grab a fresh diaper, the show is starting.
— Jon Fish 🐠 (@lionel_jon) November 21, 2019
That’s because Trump has never been on the other side of his phone calls.
Dude is loud.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) November 21, 2019
Are you deaf or do you not understand how phones work?
— D Villella ❄️ (@dvillella) November 21, 2019
What is potus trying to say ? https://t.co/MT3xQik5Ze
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) November 21, 2019
Translation – I try to eavesdrop all the time and it never worked. You try it. See if it works for you. https://t.co/QKzSw1vVD4
— Blizzo (@SiloAAOlis) November 21, 2019