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Trump declines to endorse Jeff Sessions' Senate bid -- but doesn't deliver death knell

John T. Bennett, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

Trump told reporters Friday that House committees leading the impeachment should scrap their planned public hearings because their inquiry is a "hoax."

He also again called for revealing the identity of the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint about his July 25 call with Ukraine's new president set off the probe. And he called for the whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, to be sued "maybe for treason."

"The lawyer's a bad guy," he said of Zaid a day his surrogates criticized the attorney for old tweets referring to a "coup" that would take down the president via the legal system.

Trump also tried to distance himself from his ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, saying he doesn't really know him. He also, falsely, said Sondland testified there was no quid pro quo demanded of Ukraine's leader. Sondland altered his testimony this week to say he understood there was indeed a this-for-that demand.

"This whole thing is a scam," he said, "to win an election."

Trump said a number of current and former administration officials who have testified they understood U.S. military aid to the Eastern European country was conditioned on probes of Democrats and public statements "testified just fine for me."

 

Trump slammed the Democrats' inquiry, again saying it doesn't give him due process. Yet, despite that, he declared, "we're kicking their ass."

(Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.)

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