Trump slams impeachment 'witch hunt' in Oval meeting with Erdoğan

President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE on Wednesday railed against the House impeachment inquiry during an Oval Office meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling it a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”

Trump also said he had been too busy to watch Wednesday’s hearing and hadn’t been briefed, while accusing House Democrats of using “television lawyers” to conduct their questioning.


“I’m too busy to watch it. It’s a witch hunt, it’s a hoax, I’m too busy to watch it. So, I’m sure I’ll get a report,” Trump told reporters when asked whether he had been watching the hearing.

“There’s nothing — I have not been briefed. There’s nothing there. I see they’re using lawyers that are television lawyers, they took some guys off television. You know. I’m not surprised to see it, because [House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam] Schiff can’t do his own questions,” Trump continued.

Trump is meeting with Erdoğan at the White House and will hold a joint press conference with him later Wednesday afternoon.

The House Intelligence Committee began its public impeachment hearings on Wednesday with testimony from two State Department officials about the Trump administration’s policy on Ukraine.

The impeachment inquiry is centered on a July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a debunked conspiracy about Kyiv’s involvement in 2016 election interference, as well as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE and his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Just before Trump’s comments, Taylor raised concerns about an effort driven by Trump attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani again suspended from YouTube over false election claims Sacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Biden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug MORE to leverage a White House meeting and aid to Ukraine in order to push for the investigations. Schiff yielded much of his time to committee counsel Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and onetime MSNBC legal analyst, during the first period of Democrat questioning.

Trump has aggressively pushed back against the inquiry, accusing Democrats of a partisan effort to damage his political prospects. Trump has also taken aim at witnesses like Taylor, a member of his administration, accusing them of being “Never Trumpers.”