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 JohnsonWhistleblower retaliation: Stop confusing unlawful attacks with politics Congress looks to strengthen hand in State Department following impeachment Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony MORE (R-Wis.) on Sunday dismissed testimony from current and former White House officials that contradicted President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE, saying it was “just their impression” of the situation.

Johnson told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperDemocrats ramp up attacks on opponents in final pitch before New Hampshire George Conway: 'Verdict of history' will be on Romney's side Buttigieg says Democrats must 'galvanize,' not 'polarize' voters 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 BidenPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg campaign: Vandalism at Tennessee office 'echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters' Democratic strategist says Biden 'has to' get second place in Nevada 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 PelosiCongress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff Twitter, Facebook split on manipulated Bloomberg video 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.