Putin calls Trump impeachment 'far-fetched'

Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFox News: 'Entirely unacceptable' for 'NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson' Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia next week MORE on Thursday labeled the House’s impeachment of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE “far-fetched,” according to The Associated Press.

Putin, speaking at his annual news conference in Moscow, reportedly dismissed Trump's impeachment as “the party that lost the election, the Democratic Party ... trying to achieve results by other means.” 

He also noted the effort is almost certainly doomed in the Republican-controlled Senate, saying the upper chamber “will be unlikely to remove a representative of their own party from office on what seems to me an absolutely far-fetched reason.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Putin also compared the Democrats' impeachment inquiry to 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 investigation, which found the Trump campaign welcomed and benefited from Russian election interference but was unable to establish a conspiracy between the campaign and Moscow.

The House voted 230 to 197 late Wednesday to impeach Trump for abuse of power over allegations he withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure Kyiv to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' MORE. It also voted 229 to 197 to impeach him for obstruction of Congress. Trump, who became only the third president to be impeached in U.S. history, now faces a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely he will be removed from office. 

Putin made the comments as part of a wide-ranging conference in which he also rejected calls to remove the body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin from Moscow’s Red Square, saying Lenin is viewed as an icon by older Russians who would be offended by such a move, the AP noted.

He also declined to say whether he had plans to extend his rule past the end of his term in 2024, saying that amending the Russian Constitution to change the president's and Cabinet’s powers was on the table but extensive public discussions are needed.