White House spokesman insists Bolton testimony would exonerate Trump -- who will try to block it anyway
President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened yet more "major retaliation" if Tehran hits back, including on Iranian cultural sites. (AFP/File / JIM WATSON)

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley insisted President Donald Trump wanted witness testimony in his impeachment trial, even as his attorneys prepare to claim executive privilege over that evidence.

Gidley appeared Tuesday morning on "Fox & Friends," where he claimed the president would be exonerated by those witnesses whose testimony he intended to block, reported Politico.

“I hate to talk about hypotheticals, but let's be clear," Gidley said. "The president is not afraid of a fight, and if you or anyone within the sound of our voices have been falsely accused of a crime, with no proof and no evidence, for more than three years, you'd want every witness to come forward too, and say this man did nothing wrong.”

“We are not afraid of a fight," he added. "We are prepared and whether this thing goes to a full trial, whether it's modified or whether it's just dismissed out of hand for the sham illegitimate scam it has become, we will be ready.”

The White House is preparing for the possibility that Republican senators will vote to hear witness testimony former national security adviser John Bolton and possibly others, although Trump has said he would claim executive privilege as a matter of precedent.

"We don't really care who comes forward," Gidley said, arguing that witness testimony would only strengthen the president's defense.