WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the House impeachment inquiry (all times local):
President Donald Trump says he does not expect to be impeached, claiming Democrats have “absolutely nothing” incriminating, despite days of public testimony by witnesses who said Trump withheld aid from Ukraine to press the country to investigate his political rivals.
Trump told “Fox & Friends” on Friday, “I think it’s very hard to impeach you when they have absolutely nothing." Trump said if the House did vote to impeach him, he would welcome a trial in the Senate.
Witnesses including State Department officials, current and former U.S. ambassadors and a former White House Russia analyst provided evidence in the House impeachment public hearings.
Testimony indicated Trump explicitly ordered U.S. government officials to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani (joo-lee-AH'-nee) on matters related to Ukraine, a country deeply dependent on Washington’s help to fend off Russian aggression.
But Trump says he was only holding back aid to root out corruption in Ukraine.
President Donald Trump is still promoting a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, a day after a former White House security adviser called it a “fictional narrative.”
Trump called in to “Fox & Friends” on Friday and said he was trying to root out corruption in the Eastern European nation when he withheld aid over the summer. Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president is at the center of the House impeachment probe, which is looking into Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate political rivals as he held back nearly $400 million.
Trump said, “There was no quid pro quo,” contradicting testimony by impeachment witnesses.
On Thursday, a former White House Russia analyst said the debunked theory that Ukraine was behind election interference played into Russia’s hands.