The White House has made clear it thinks House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is rubbish. But did President Trump open the door ever so slightly to cooperating on Wednesday?
It’s always hard to tell with this President.
When asked whether he’d cooperate if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a full House vote on the impeachment proceedings, Trump said he would cooperate “if the rules are fair.” Trump didn’t go into detail about what conditions he would need met.
“Yeah, if the rules are fair, because I don’t know exactly the definition,” Trump said, adding that it depends upon “if Republicans get a fair shake.” The President was speaking during a signing of executive orders on transparency in federal guidance and enforcement at the White House.
A senior administration official was noncommittal on Tuesday about whether the White House would cooperate with the impeachment probe if the House held a floor vote on it, after the White House sent House Democratic leaders a letter seeking to delegitimize the entire impeachment effort.
“I am not going to try to provide particular red lines or things like that,” the official said. “The letter, I think, speaks for itself about flaws — we’d have to see what the House wants to do try to remedy them.”
Trump on Wednesday went on a tangent about how former House Speaker Paul Ryan “really wouldn’t give subpoenas.”
“I’m not saying good, bad or indifferent, here is a man who knows it very well,” Trump said, gesturing toward Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). “They go in with all of the corruption that you’d been reading about, and all the things they’ve done wrong with Comey, and all of these people and all of the things they did wrong. When we wanted a subpoena — meaning they wanted a subpoena — it was very hard to get it.”
Trump also accused Schiff of making up his now-infamous July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that showed efforts to pressure Ukraine into manufacturing bogus allegations against the Bidens.
“Frankly, I think if it wasn’t for me, I don’t know if anybody would have even noticed and called him out,” Trump said. “He took my really, believe it or not, congenial and gentle words and he made me sound like a tyrant.”
Trump was referring to a “parody” statement Schiff made late last month during a hearing with the director of national intelligence, when Schiff riffed on the President’s call with the leader of Ukraine to prove a point.
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Trump: I'll cooperate with impeachment inquiry if "rules are fair" pic.twitter.com/79IJ879cDR
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 9, 2019