Reporter to Trump: Why Is It Appropriate For A President To Ask A Foreign Leader For Info On Political Rival?


President Trump held a press conference Wednesday after the White House released a memorandum of his call with Ukraine President Valodymyr Zelensky. The press event comes after the House launched a formal impeachment inquiry against the president.

REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. You suggested that you didn't do anything wrong in the course of your conversations with the Ukrainian president. But can you explain to the American people why it is appropriate for an American president to ask a foreign leader for information about a political rival and what you would have said if you discovered that Barack Obama, perhaps had asked a foreign leader for information about you (INAUDIBLE) campaign for the presidency?

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: Yeah. Well, that’s what he did, isn’t it, really? When you think about it.

Look, that whole witch hunt was started, and hopefully that’ll all come out. But there’s been some fantastic books written that just came out — whether you will look at Gregg Jarrett, or McCarthy’s book that just — just came out recently, and so many other books. And a lot of books are coming out. When you start reading those books, you see what they did to us. What they’ve done to this country is a disgrace. They’ve hurt this country very badly. And no other President should have to go through what I’ve gone through.

The President — the new President of Ukraine is looking to stop corruption. There’s a lot of corruption going on, and there was corruption. I just told you about senators that threatened him with votes and no money coming into Ukraine if they do things. That’s really what people are trying to say that I did, but the only difference is I didn’t do it. You take a look at that call; it was perfect. I didn’t do it. There was no quid pro quo, but there was with Biden and there was with these senators. And they threatened. They said, “You do this, you do that. We’re not going to give you votes.” That’s — that’s the real deal.

So we have an honest group of people that have been maligned. And, you know, it’s — a lot of people say I’ll do even better. I’m very happy. Yesterday, I guess we had a 53 poll, and a lot of people say add 10 points to anything. Anybody voting for Trump, you can add — anytime you get a poll, you can add 10 points or 7 points or 6 points. Take it any way you want. But I don’t know if I consider that to be a compliment, but in one way it is a compliment.

And I guess that’s what happened in the last election: Far more people came to vote than anybody thought possible.

REPORTER: So why should the American people then be comfortable with an American president asking a foreign leader for information about an American citizen?

TRUMP: Well, I think you could look at your senators and you can look at Biden and you can look at all these other people, but what we are looking for is corruption. A--an investigation started called the Russian witch-hunt affectionately, and it was a total phony scam. It was set up by people within the government to try and stop somebody from getting elected. And after that--after that person, namely me, one and convincingly one at 306 to 223 and the electoral college--which by the way, when you run a race if you're running electoral, you know, if you go by the college, the electoral college, that's a much different race than running popular vote. And it's like the hundred yard dash or the mile. You train differently.

And I can't help it that my opponent didn't go to Wisconsin and should've gotten gone much more to Michigan and Pennsylvania and other places, but that's the way it is. We won an election convincingly. Convincingly. And then you had the text message on well, if she doesn't win, we've got an insurance policy. How bad was that? You know with the insurance policy? That's sort of what has been taking place over the last number of years, the insurance policy. Now, there are a lot of very dishonest people. We're the ones that played it straight.

And you know what, the millions of people out there that are looking at what's going on, those people understand it. They see it and they think it's disgusting. And our people are being hurt and our country is being hurt when a Nancy Pelosi allows her position to be taken over by radical far left socialists or worse, and that's pretty bad. That's prevent, especially when the Senators and all of these other people have actually done what they are accusing me of doing, which I didn't do.

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