It depends upon what the meaning of the word “us” is .
As the impeachment inquiries against President Donald Trump rocket forward, Trump tried Wednesday night to reframe the context of the phone call that sparked House Democrats’ impeachment investigation. Rather than asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on his domestic political rivals, Trump claimed that he had asked Zelenskiy to somehow help the nation as a whole.
“When I said, in my phone call to the President of Ukraine, ‘I would like you to do US a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.’ With the word ‘us’ I am referring to the United States, our Country,” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s tweet revealed his simmering frustration with the impeachment process, which House Democrats aim to conclude by the end of the month. The House Judiciary Committee began its public impeachment hearings Wednesday, piggy-backing off the explosive hearings and report by the House Intelligence Committee. Even during his trip to London for a NATO summit, Trump couldn’t find respite, as world leaders appeared to mock him behind his back.
….”I would like to have the Attorney General (of the United States) call you or your people…..” This, based on what I have seen, is their big point – and it is no point at a all (except for a big win for me!). The Democrats should apologize to the American people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
During the July 25 phone call between the two heads of state, Trump asked Zelenskiy to “do us a favor” by cooperating with Attorney General William Barr and launching an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s family. Though Trump claimed Wednesday that it was part of a request to assist the United States, House Democrats and numerous officials within the administration found it was personally politically driven.
Trump has repeatedly called his conversation with Zelenskiy a “perfect” phone call, and his team has argued that the ask was part of an anti-corruption investigation.
Trump has also said in the past that he would not be opposed to receiving opposition research from a foreign entity, even though accepting foreign aid in an election is illegal.
The House Intelligence Committee found in its report that Trump not only abused his influence over Ukraine — a country reliant on U.S. aid in its war against Russia — but also that he attempted to obstruct their investigation by refusing to allow administration officials to testify.
Trump retorted by claiming House Democrats found no concrete evidence and mocked House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as a “deranged human being” during the NATO summit.
“The Democrats should apologize to the American people!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.