President Donald Trump said he thrives under the pressure of impeachment at the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement on Monday.
JEFF MASON, REUTERS: Mr. President, the White House Counsel’s Office is preparing a letter to Speaker Pelosi about the impeachment inquiry. What do you hope to achieve with that letter?
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: Well, first of all, the impeachment inquiry is a scam. The conversation that I had with the Ukrainian President Zelensky was a very good conv- — it was a very cordial, very good conversation. The mistake they made — the opponents, the opposition, the Democrats, the radical Left, deep state, whatever you want to call them — they came out with a whistleblower report before they saw the conversation.
Had they waited one day, Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t have made a fool out of herself, and she would have been able to say what I said. Because when she saw it, she said, “This is not what the whistleblower said.” I had a very, very congenial, nice conversation with a man that I like. And he ran on corruption. Because, as you know, Ukraine is known as a very corrupt country — one of the most in the world, shockingly, because I know Ukrainian people. It’s surprising to me. But it’s known as one of the most corrupt countries.
And under the past leadership, it was having a lot of difficulty. This gentleman — the current President, the new President — ran on the basis of anti-corruption, as you know. I think it was his single-biggest thing. And we had a great conversation, but it wasn’t reported that way. The only reason I would have released a letter — because I think it’s terrible to have to release a letter that you have with the leader of a country. I think it’s a terrible precedent.
But the whistleblower report or whatever the news was, was so off. It was so horrible. I said, “I never said that.” I said, “Let me see it.” We have a stenographer report. We have a very, very word-for-word report of what I said; I released it. And almost everybody that read it said it’s either perfect or really very good. But it’s a very normal, nice conversation.
And when you see that the President of Ukraine, President Zelensky, said, “There was no pressure put on me whatsoever.” His spokesman came out two days ago — said there was absolutely no pressure put on the President. I didn’t tell him to say that. There was no pressure put on him. All you have to do is read the report.
The problem is, I released it a day after they had already made their big statements. And again, it’s a big scam. And I think Adam Schiff should be investigated for what he did. He took to the great Chamber — Congress — and he made a speech. And his speech was a fraud. Everything he said was a fraud. He went out as though I wrote it. He defrauded the American people. He defrauded Congress. He defrauded himself and his family. He made a speech as — it was a horrible speech. I said, “What is this go- — what’s going on here?” I think he’s having some kind of a breakdown. Because he got up and made a speech that bore no relationship to what the conversation was.
And I’ll tell you, a lot of people heard that speech and a lot of people thought that’s what I said because they heard his speech. Because they’re not going to read a three- or four-page conversation. They don’t have access to it. But I thought it was one of the — I thought it was a terrible thing, where he’s going up speaking as the President of the United States, saying things that I never said. And the meaning was horrible. And the whole thought was horrible.
And then, the whistleblower, he did — through his committee, through himself — he met with a whistleblower. They never said that. They never talked about it.
And Nancy Pelosi knew all of this stuff. I mean, she’s as guilty as he is because she knew all of that. She knew everything about it. And she didn’t do anything about it.
And I’ll tell you what: They should really be looked at very strongly because what they did is unthinkable. What they did to this country is unthinkable. And it’s lucky that I’m the President, because I guess — I don’t know why — a lot of people said very few people could handle it. I sort of thrive on it. You know why? Because — because it’s so important that we get to the bottom.
We went through the whole Mueller scam — two and a half years. We went through that. And I had three, four days where it was, like, over. And then I’m walking into the United Nations, and they released it as I’m walking in, Mr. Ambassador. I’m walking in. I’m going to meet with — I won’t name, but one of the top leaders of the world. And I see up on the screen and people start screening about this scam called “impeachment.”
You can’t impeach a President for doing a great job. You can’t impeach a President for having the lowest and best unemployment numbers that we’ve had in 51 years. You can’t impeach a President for tax cuts and regulation cuts and creating — and even the Ambassador would say — the strongest economy in the world. We have the strongest economy in the world.
This is a scam. And the people are wise to it. And that’s why my polls went up, I think they said, 17 points in the last two or three days. I’ve never had that one. I’ve never had that one.
So, I think it’s very sad for our country. I think it makes it harder to do my job. But I do my job, and I do it better than anybody has done it for the first two and half years, based on results. I mean, you look at not only the unemployment numbers — look at the employment numbers, Jeff. We have — we’re up to almost 160 million people are working.