Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) is a hard no on the idea of President Trump testifying in the impeachment inquiry.
During a Monday morning interview on Fox News, the staunch Trump ally shot down the idea of the President testifying while also attacking House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). Earlier Monday, Trump said in a tweet thread that he will “strongly consider” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) suggestion that he testify before the House committees probing impeachment — but in written form.
“I wouldn’t encourage the President at all — it would be a ‘heck no’ from me as far as my advice on whether or not he should come testify,” Zeldin said, arguing that Trump “wouldn’t just be lowering himself to Adam Schiff’s level — he would be lowering himself below Adam Schiff’s level.”
Zeldin added that Trump is better off not spending time at a hearing where “these people just scream at the sky.”
The New York Republican also argued that Trump “has nothing to hide” and shouldn’t bother with “this game Pelosi and Schumer are daring him to.”
Following the public testimony of ousted Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on Friday, Zeldin defended Trump’s tweets attacking her by arguing that Schiff failed to point out the second part of Trump’s tweet — which referred to the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Zelensky “spoke unfavorably about her” — to Yovanovitch when he questioned her.
Last month, Zeldin was one of five Trump loyalists in the House to immediately side with the President after he abruptly blocked Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying in the impeachment inquiry, despite being reportedly frustrated that the White House hadn’t given them the heads up.
Watch Zeldin’s remarks below starting at the 5:30 mark:
is a newswriter for TPM based in New York. She previously covered the 2016 election for Fusion, conducted investigative research for The Nation Institute, and has written for NBC Chicago and the Chicago Reader.