Trump calls Dem candidates 'clowns,' claims none can defeat him in 2020

President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE asserted in an early morning tweet on Wednesday that none of the Democratic presidential contenders could defeat him in the 2020 general election and that House Democrats are trying to “illegally” impeach him as a result.

“You would think there is NO WAY that any of the Democrat Candidates that we witnessed last night could possibly become President of the United States. Now you see why they have no choice but to push a totally illegal & absurd Impeachment of one of the most successful Presidents!” Trump tweeted.

Trump called the Democratic candidates "clowns" and claimed the economy would crash if any of them were elected next year.

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Trump’s messages marked his first reaction to the fourth Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night, during which many of the candidates trained their attacks on Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' UN secretary-general blasts space tourism MORE (D-Mass.), who has been rising in the polls.

Impeachment was the first topic discussed at the outset of the debate, with several candidates outlining their support for impeaching Trump.

Trump has lashed out at House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, claiming his political opponents are seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election. Trump has taken aim Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor Panic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda MORE (D-Calif.) and other top congressional Democrats in addition to his potential 2020 opponents during official White House events, campaign rallies and on Twitter.

Meanwhile, some recent polls have shown Warren or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE defeating Trump in hypothetical general election match-ups.

House Democrats last month launched an impeachment inquiry focused on Trump’s contacts with Ukraine after it was revealed that he asked the nation's leader to investigation Biden and his son. An anonymous intelligence community whistleblower filed a complaint alleging Trump was using his official office to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election.

Trump has maintained he did nothing wrong on the call, saying it was focused on fighting "corruption" and not politics. No evidence of criminal wrongdoing related to the Bidens has emerged.

The president has also accused Democrats of a “witch hunt” — using a moniker he often reserved to describe former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s Russia investigation.

The White House has refused to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, accusing Democrats of neglecting due process and fairness by refusing to hold a formal vote to begin impeachment proceedings, among other things.

Vice President Pence, the Pentagon and Trump's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiAlabama official dismisses Lindell claim that 100K votes were flipped from Trump to Biden: 'It's not possible' Adam Laxalt to be called to testify in trial of Giuliani associate Eric Trump lawyer in New York attorney general's fraud case quits MORE — a key person of interest in the impeachment inquiry — all refused to comply with subpoenas for documents in connection with the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.

Updated at 9:15 a.m.