‘Too busy’: Trump professes disinterest on impeachment

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President Donald Trump speaks at the Economic Club of New York at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

NEW YORK, NY – What hearings? What phone call?

Professing disinterest and disdain, President Donald Trump said he was “too busy” doing the people’s business Wednesday to watch the impeachment hearings that imperil his presidency. But even as Trump tried to suggest that he was above the fray, the president repeatedly laid out his many grievances against the process playing out on the opposite end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I hear it’s a joke. I haven’t watched for one minute,” Trump said during a White House news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the day’s testimony had ended. “This is a sham, and it shouldn’t be allowed.”

The first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry opened with two career public servants raising their hands and swearing an oath to tell the truth. Trump pushed back vigorously, insisting that the impeachment process is illegitimate and that he did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine.

Although claiming not to watch, Trump had tweeted and retweeted complaints about the inquiry more than 30 times by late afternoon and couldn’t resist taking a swipe at Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a principal political foe on Capitol Hill.

“It’s a witch hunt, it’s a hoax, I’m too busy to watch it,” Trump told reporters. “There’s nothing there. I see they’re using lawyers that are television lawyers. They took some guys off television. You know, I’m not surprised to see it because Schiff can’t do his own questions.”

Schiff is overseeing the impeachment hearings as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“New hoax. Same swamp,” read one tweet from the White House that Trump retweeted. He quoted his defenders and lashed out at the first witnesses to testify publicly, labeling William Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, a career diplomat, as “NEVER TRUMPERS!”