President Trump has slammed the impeachment inquiry against him as a “disgrace” and “kangaroo court”
He also blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as ‘grossly incompetent’ for allowing House lawmakers to focus on the ongoing inquiry instead of voting on a revamped North American free trade deal that was brokered by the White House last year.
Press TV reports: Trump made the comments on Wednesday at the start of a Cabinet meeting as lawmakers in the House of Representatives heard testimony from two government officials who listened in on the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of the impeachment probe.
The US House Intelligence Committee resumed the public impeachment hearings on Tuesday.
The Republican president called Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “highly overrated” and “incompetent” for not passing the so-called US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.
“The woman is highly overrated,” Trump said. “We can’t get USMCA approved because Nancy Pelosi is grossly incompetent.”
Trump said he watched some of the day’s impeachment testimony from US Army officer Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine specialist, who says Trump inappropriately pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine.
At the Cabinet meeting, the president dismissed Vindman’s testimony, and praised Republican lawmakers for “killing it”. Trump said, “I don’t know Vindman, I never heard of him.”
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump in September after a whistleblower alleged the Republican president pressured Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
Democrats are looking into whether Trump abused his power by withholding $391 million in US security aid to Ukraine as leverage to pressure Kiev to conduct an investigation that would benefit him politically.
Republicans have consistently criticized the Democratic-led impeachment investigation by saying that witnesses did not have firsthand knowledge of Trump’s role in trying to persuade Ukraine to investigate Biden.