WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the impeachment process against him on Friday as a hoax and said he would not mind a long trial in the U.S. Senate, saying he wanted to see the whistleblower whose complaint led Democrats to launch the inquiry.
Speaking to reporters at the White House after the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against him, Trump decried the process as a “sham” and said Democrats were trivializing impeachment.
“It’s a very sad thing for our country, but it seems to be very good for me politically,” Trump said, arguing that his poll numbers had increased.
“Impeachment is a hoax. It’s a sham,” he said.
The president said he was open to a short or long process in the Senate, which is expected to hold a trial in January.
“I’ll do whatever I want. … So I’ll do long or short,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t mind a long process, because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud.”
The president, who has repeatedly argued that he did nothing wrong during a July call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which he pressed Ukraine to investigate Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, said that using the impeachment process against him was not good for the United States.
“There was nothing done wrong. To use the power of impeachment for this nonsense is an embarrassment to this country,” he said.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Jonathan Oatis