This Wednesday, House impeachment investigators kickstarted the public portion of their inquiry with a hearing featuring the witnesses top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent. Shortly after that hearing concluded, President Donald Trump himself held a (delayed) press conference alongside Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, whose recent behavior includes launching a violent ethnic cleansing operation targeting Kurds in northern Syria. No matter that situation — which Trump gave a green light to with his abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from the area — Trump was all smiles for Erdogan and freaking out over the impeachment inquiry.
The first question that he took came from a reporter with the far-right One America News Network (OANN), who directly asked him for his reaction to the day’s proceedings. (Trump has repeatedly praised OANN on Twitter. The outlet has repeatedly pushed conspiracy theories.) Trump mockingly told the reporter:
‘Are you talking about the witch hunt? Is that what you mean? Is that what you’re talking about? I hear it’s a joke. I haven’t watched for one minute because I’ve been with the president, which is much more important, as far as I’m concerned. This is a sham and shouldn’t be allowed. It was a, uh, situation that was caused by people that shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. I want to find out who is the whistleblower because the whistleblower gave a lot of very incorrect information including my call with the president of Ukraine, which was a perfect call, and highly appropriate.’
For the first presser question, Trump calls upon OANN. He’s asked about the impeachment hearing, which he proceeds to trash as “the witch hunt” and “a sham.” He then falsely claims that the whistleblower’s complaint is mistaken, when in fact it has been broadly corroborated. pic.twitter.com/2ME57w29eo
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 13, 2019
There is no apparent evidence of a single detail in the whistleblower’s original complaint in question that was inaccurate. They sounded an alarm about Trump’s scheme to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens in exchange for already approved military aid and a summit in D.C., and that scheme has been confirmed by the testimony of numerous witnesses, including those who appeared this Wednesday.
Later on, Trump tried to present some of those supposedly in support of his position, and in so doing, he compared Fox News talking heads to “great lawyers.” He said:
‘If you read the transcript — this was analyzed by great lawyers. It was analyzed by Gregg Jarrett. It was analyzed by Mark Levin. It was analyzed by everybody. They said this statement that I made — the whole call that I made with the president of Ukraine was a perfect one.’
It got better (meaning, in this context, worse for Americans at large). Trump proceeded to complain that we have to “waste this gentleman’s time” with discussion of the impeachment process, gesturing to the murderous Erdogan in the process. In other words, he’s irritated that he’s being held accountable for his clearly demonstrable corrupt behavior because it detracts from his time to pal around with dictators.
No matter that spectacle, House Dems have a whole slate of additional witnesses scheduled for public testimony. On Friday, they will be hosting former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who Trump fired on the basis of false allegations of conspiracy against him.