President Trump gave his first on-camera reaction to House Speaker Pelosi's announcement that she will begin an impeachment inquiry over a whistleblower's accusation that the American president inappropriately pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate allegations of corruption regarding Joe Biden and his son's business dealings during a July phone call. The president made these comments about two hours after the White House released a transcript of the phone call Wednesday morning.
Trump decried "corrupt reporting" and said the impeachment inquiry was "a disgraceful thing" and "the single greatest witch hunt in American history, probably in history, but in American history."
"The way you had it built up, that call, it was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call," Trump said.
Trump's full comments:
REPORTER: Sir, how is [what is shown in the transcript] not pressuring [Ukrainian] President Zelensky?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: There is no pressure whatsoever. If you take a look at the Democrats, they went down to see the President of Ukraine and they asked him for all sorts of things and "don't go with the Republicans and stay with us," like it is a political war. They shouldn't have done that. That should be an impeachable event based on what you are saying.
The Democrats just came out, they went down there, a group of people, some of whom I was dealing with on the gun issue. They went down, put tremendous pressure on Ukraine. The president himself just came out with a statement saying there was absolutely no pressure put on him, and there wasn't. What I do want to see is I want to see other countries helping Ukraine also, not just us. As usual, the United States helps and nobody else is there, so I want to see other countries help.
Just so you understand, it is the single greatest witch hunt in American history, probably in history, but in American history. It is a disgraceful thing. The letter was a great letter, meaning the letter revealing the call. That was done at the insistence of myself and other people that read it. It was a friendly letter. There was no pressure.
The way you had it built up, that call, it was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, "I never knew you could be so nice." So part of the problem you have is you have the fake news. You have a lot of corrupt reporting. You have some very fine reporters and journalists, but you have a lot of corrupt reporters, a lot of corrupt journalists. I would rate you right in there, by the way.
[reporters shout questions]
TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me. So we're having -- if you noticed, the stock market went up when they saw the nonsense. All of a sudden, the stock market went down substantially yesterday when they saw a charge. After they read the charge the stock market went up substantially.
We have created the greatest economy in the history of our country, the greatest economy in the world. Had my opponent won, China would right now be the number one economy by far. Right now China is way behind us and they'll never catch us if we have smart leadership, way behind. We have picked up trillions of dollars and they've lost trillions of dollars. They want to make a deal very badly, and it could happen. It could happen. It could happen. It could happen sooner than you think. Our military's rebuilt. Our military has never been stronger. When I came in it was depleted. Our vets are happy.
So many great things are happening, and the Democrats feel they're going to lose. We had the highest poll number, Rasmussen, 53. They say you could add ten to it. A lot of people say you can add more than ten to it because a lot of people just don't want to talk about it, but they want to vote for Trump.
So I just say this. We have the strongest country we have ever had. We have the best economy we have ever had. We have the best unemployment numbers we have ever had. We have the best employment numbers we have ever had. We have now almost 160 million people working. That's far more than we have ever had working in our country before. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.