Daily Press

Trump again vents anger at Pelosi

President lashes out after trading holiday greetings with troops

- By Toluse Olorunnipa and John Wagner The Washington Post

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump lashed out again Tuesday at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats involved in his impeachmen­t after a teleconfer­ence in which he exchanged holiday greetings with members of the military stationed around the globe from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

“She hates the Republican Party,” Trump said of Pelosi, D-Calif., predicting that she would lose her speakershi­p. “She hates all of the people who voted for me and the Republican Party . ... She’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country.”

Speaking to reporters who had just witnessed his teleconfer­ence, Trump aired an array of grievances about the impeachmen­t process, claiming that Democrats “had no evidence at all” about misconduct in his dealings with Ukraine and that he is “in a very good position” as he faces a trial in the Senate.

His comments come amid a standoff regarding the timing and scope of a Senate trial. Pelosi has declined to send the two articles of impeachmen­t — abuse of power and obstructio­n of Congress — to the Senate yet as Democrats demand more informatio­n about the parameters of a trial.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has requested subpoenas for several witnesses and documents that were not part of the House impeachmen­t inquiry because of stonewalli­ng by the White House.

“Now they come to the Senate and they want everything,” Trump said, repeating claims that he did not receive “due process” in the House proceeding­s.

Trump was invited to participat­e in the Judiciary Committee hearings that preceded his impeachmen­t but refused to do so. He was impeached for obstructio­n of Congress after blocking several witnesses from his administra­tion from providing documents and testimony sought by House Democrats.

At the heart of the Democrats’ abuse-of-power case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch an investigat­ion of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidenti­al election.

Trump’s comments to reporters echoed complaints made about the impeachmen­t process in a series of morning tweets.

“The Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats have gone CRAZY,” Trump said in one of them. “They want to make it as hard as possible for me to properly run our Country!”

Democrats responded to Trump’s attacks by noting how they were out of sync with the holiday spirit.

“It’s Christmas Eve. Get. A. Life,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., tweeted to Trump in response to the president’s claim that Pelosi “knows nothing” about the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada that was recently passed by the House.

During his phone call with representa­tives from the military, Trump repeatedly stated that he had rebuilt the armed forces, and asked service members to confirm that they had seen a marked improvemen­t in equipment and resources since his election.

“You feel a lot different than you did three years ago, Frank?” Trump asked Cmdr. Frank Azzarello aboard the destroyer USS Forrest Sherman in the Gulf of Aden.

“Yes, sir,” Azzarello replied.

Asked whether he would offer a pardon for his longtime confidant Roger Stone, Trump said he hadn’t considered it — before asserting that the felon was “a nice guy” who had been mistreated by prosecutor­s.

“You know, Roger Stone was not involved in my campaign in any way,” Trump said. “Other than the very, very beginning. Before I think I — long before I announced. A little bit.”

Stone was in direct contact with high-ranking officials in Trump’s campaign throughout much of 2016, including during a period in which he claimed to have insider informatio­n about Democratic computer files hacked by Russia and made public by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates testified during Stone’s trial that he overheard a phone call in which Trump seemed to discuss WikiLeaks with Stone.

Stone was convicted last month of tampering with a witness and lying to Congress about his efforts to learn of hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 U.S. presidenti­al election. He faces up to 50 years in prison on seven felony counts.

While distancing himself from Stone, Trump used his conviction to make the case that the Justice Department had been biased against the president and his associates.

“We had dirty cops, we had people spying on my campaign,” Trump said, echoing debunked claims about politicall­y biased wiretappin­g during the 2016 election.

As he prepared to depart for his golf club, Trump added: “Have a good time, everybody. Merry Christmas.”

 ?? NICHOLAS KAMM/GETTY-AFP ?? President Trump answers questions from reporters Tuesday after making a video call to U.S. troops stationed worldwide.
NICHOLAS KAMM/GETTY-AFP President Trump answers questions from reporters Tuesday after making a video call to U.S. troops stationed worldwide.

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