On Wednesday morning, Trump gave an impromptu press conference, which really wasn’t much of a press conference, in the White House Rose Garden. What it turned into was more of a rant that repeated many of his Twitter talking points, third-person narratives about himself and how much of a victim he’s been, and a defense of his son, Donald Trump, Jr., who’s “been through hell.”
The speech was given behind a sign that listed Trump’s version of the statistics around the Mueller investigation. After at least a dozen different figures were assessed by Trump as the cost of that investigation on Twitter, he seems to have settled now on $35 million, which is nowhere near the amount that 10 separate investigations of the Benghazi non-scandal cost and was recovered by the Mueller team just on the civil forfeitures imposed on Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, alone.
Most shockingly, Trump laid down the gauntlet on any compromise or policy agreements with the Democrats unless they agree to drop the investigations. He bristled at the idea that impeachment proceedings are even being discussed and dismissed the very real evidence that his campaign communicated and, according to Mueller, were amenable to help from the Kremlin in 2016.
‘The “I word.” Can you imagine? I don’t speak to Russia about campaigns.’
After multiple instances of ignoring congressional subpoenas and asserting executive privilege over such matters as his tax returns, business dealings, and personal conduct, Trump insisted that he respects the courts and Congress. However, he hasn’t shown that respect throughout these investigations, repeatedly accusing the investigators of having nefarious motives and insisting that Democrats in Congress are on a “witch hunt” despite numerous indictments and arrests of people tied to the president and his campaign.
‘I respect the courts. I respect Congress…but what they’ve done here is abuse.’
His primary complaint, as that’s what the little surprise speech was, was that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused him of a cover-up. Trump insisted that he’s run “the most transparent administration in history despite the fact that he did not agree to be interviewed by Mueller, that a number of witnesses lied to investigators, and that he’s doing everything possible today to prevent Congress from doing what the Mueller report suggested they do: adjudicate Trump using congressional oversight.
‘I don’t do cover-ups.’
For the full speech as well as Nancy Pelosi’s response, see video below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube