WASHINGTON -- Accusing House Democrats of trying to humiliate him while on foreign soil, President Donald Trump predicted voters will punish the party in November for their impeachment inquiry.
"They're getting killed in their own districts," Trump said Monday morning as he left the White House for a two-day NATO summit in London. "I think it's going to be a tremendous boon for Republicans. Republicans have never, ever been so committed as they are right now, and so united. It's really a great thing in some ways."
The comment shows anew how the president views most matters through a prism related to his reelection chances. But his assessment of the inquiry was not all upbeat.
"But in other ways, it's a disgrace," a black umbrella-toting president said on another rainy day in Washington. "It's a disgrace to our country."
Democrats, however, say the probe is anything but. They contend Trump abused his office by requesting Ukraine's new president announce investigations of Joe and Hunter Biden, as well as the Democratic National Committee, in exchange for a military aid package and a White House meeting.
The president lashed out at them, without naming any, as raindrops fell on the South Lawn and he again yelled over Marine One's idling engines.
"The radical left Democrats ... decided, this was set up a year ago, decided this was the right time," he said Monday, saying a NATO summit is among the "most important" trips a U.S. president makes annually. "It will never end because they will do what they want to do."
Polls suggest the president has a point and they are the source of confidence among White House aides that Democrats have taken a major political gamble with the impeachment investigation. Multiple surveys show support for Trump's impeachment and removal has plateaued at a level far short of what would be needed to convince GOP House members and senators to vote with Democrats to rebuke and possibly oust him from office.
So far, not a single Republican lawmaker has announced an intention to break ranks.
Meantime, the president was asked why he is not sending lawyers to Judiciary's first hearing, which features legal experts and no so-called "fact witnesses." He responded by saying he opted against doing so because the probe is a "hoax" and a "disgrace."