Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression'

Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy White House releases rough transcript of early Trump-Ukraine call minutes before impeachment hearing Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (R-Wis.) on Sunday dismissed testimony from current and former White House officials that contradicted President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE, saying it was “just their impression” of the situation.

Johnson told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperRepublicans, Democrats brace for first public testimony in impeachment inquiry Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression' Saagar Enjeti: Harris campaign 'is failing because she doesn't stand for anything' MORE on “State of the Union” that he believed Trump wanted aid withheld from Ukraine was because the president perceived the country and its officials as corrupt and not worthy of American taxpayer dollars.

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The Wisconsin senator said he confronted the president when U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told him that aid was contingent on “something Ukraine had to do.”

“When I brought up that scenario, President Trump immediately — and I described as — adamantly and vehemently denied it,” Johnson said. 

Tapper then asked Johnson about the testimony from Sondland, former presidential aide Fiona Hill and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. The CNN host brought up Hill’s indication that the mention of corruption “was code” to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBudget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide READ: Foreign service officer Jennifer Williams' closed-door testimony from the House impeachment inquiry MORE and his son.

“Well again, that’s their impression,” Johnson said. “I’ve never heard the president say, ‘I want to dig up dirt on a potential 2020 opponent.’ What I’ve always heard was the president was consistently concerned about is what happened in 2016.”

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLouisiana governor wins re-election Dynamic scoring: Forward-thinking budgeting practices to grow our economy Pelosi: Trump tweets on Yovanovitch show his 'insecurity as an imposter' MORE (D-Calif.) launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump after a whistleblower report detailed him asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son days after withholding military aid.

Since then, several former and current Trump officials have testified behind closed doors in front of House impeachment investigators, with several backing up allegations that Ukraine aid was held up until the country committed to examining the Bidens. Witnesses are scheduled to publicly testify for the impeachment inquiry starting Wednesday.