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Trump says he would 'love' for impeachment witnesses to appear, in departing comments at Davos

Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

DAVOS, Switzerland -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted Democrats' impeachment case and claimed that national security concerns were preventing administration officials from testifying.

"It's a total hoax, it's a disgrace," he said at a news conference shortly before leaving the World Economic Forum here. "They had no case, it's a con job."

Trump repeatedly described Democrats like Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler as "corrupt" and "sleazebags," and he said his economic success had made them lose their minds.

"You know what's driven them crazy? All of these record numbers."

Trump has repeatedly directed administration officials to defy subpoenas for documents and testimony, but he said Wednesday that he would "love to have" them appear before Congress.

However, Trump said, "it's a national security problem." People like John Bolton, the former national security adviser, know too much about sensitive issues involving foreign policy to let them speak freely on Capitol Hill, he said.

Trump dismissed Lev Parnas, the indicted businessman who has been providing evidence to Congress, as a "groupie" who "shows up at fundraisers."

On the other hand, he described Rudolph W. Giuliani, who spearheaded the Ukraine scheme, as "one of the greatest crime fighters of the last 100 years" and a "high-quality person" who has been treated unfairly.

 

Trump expressed confidence in his legal team, particularly White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who has been in the television spotlight for the first time. Trump said he was "very proud of the job he did" on the first day of the Senate trial.

Although White House aides have downplayed how much Trump will be monitoring the impeachment trial, the president left no doubt that he'll be tuning in as he returns to Washington.

"I'll be watching it," he said.

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