Trump not watching impeachment hearing, says White House

Trump not watching impeachment hearing, says White House
© Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamTrump's split-screen presidency takes stark form in impeachment Trump boasts of US economic gains in Davos as impeachment trial gets underway Parnas attorney asks William Barr to recuse himself from investigation MORE on Wednesday asserted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE has been in the Oval Office since about 8 a.m. and that he is not watching the public impeachment hearings.

"He's in the Oval in meetings. Not watching. He's working," Grisham told an inquiring reporter, adding that she had just been in a meeting with the president.

Grisham later tweeted that the hearing "is not only boring, it is a colossal waste of taxpayer time & money." She called on Congress to work with Trump on his USMCA trade deal and drug pricing legislation, though the White House has shot down a House proposal on the latter topic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump spent the hours before the hearing began decrying the witnesses as "Never Trumpers" and tweeting out quotes from Fox News hosts ripping Democrats. 

Since the hearing was gaveled in, Trump has retweeted several messages from Republican lawmakers dismissing the validity of the proceedings and questioning Democrats' motives for impeaching the president.

Trump later tweeted out a campaign video that featured clips of Democrats calling for his impeachment and accusing the party of "putting politics before country."

The House Intelligence Committee is hearing testimony from two witnesses on Wednesday: William Taylor, the chargé d’affaires for Ukraine; and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary for State.

The hearing is focused on allegations that Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations into his domestic political rivals.

--Updated at 11:59 a.m.