Trump says 'I do want always corruption' amid string of barely coherent outbursts in wild Fox News interview

President hurls insults at Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Joe Biden during live TV interview

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 22 November 2019 15:26
Trump says 'I do want always corruption' amid string of barely coherent outbursts in wild Fox News interview

Donald Trump hurled incendiary insults at his political rivals, supported a slew of conspiracy theories and rejected verifiable facts during an interview on Fox News.

Speaking with the cable network’s morning show hosts, the president sought to undermine the public impeachment hearings against him by slamming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as a “sick puppy” and a "nut job".

“He’s sick, there's something wrong with him,” Mr Trump said.

He then attacked several other Democratic leaders - calling US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “Crazy Nancy Pelosi” and said former Vice President Joe Biden was mentally “off”, adding: “I don’t know if Joe can make it mentally” through the 2020 campaign trail.

Mr Trump’s wide-ranging interview included several false claims — the president continued to assert Europe wasn’t providing any aid to Ukraine when in fact it does — and suggested thousands would have been killed in the Hong Kong protests if it were not for a trade deal he said he was “very close” to making with China.

The president appeared to divert from several lines of questioning and at times misspoke, at one point saying: "I do want, always, corruption."

He added: “I say that to anybody!”

The interview followed a week of historic public impeachment hearings in which key witnesses detailed new revelations about the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

Mr Trump is accused of withholding nearly $400m (£311.2m) of crucial military aid to the country as his top advisers demanded Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announce investigations into the former vice president, whose son, Hunter Biden, worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while he served in the White House. There has been no evidence presented of wrongdoing on the part of the Bidens.

On Friday morning, Mr Trump said he was hoping to receive a full Senate trial following the impeachment hearings in the US House of Representatives. The president reasserted that he would like Hunter Biden to appear, however, he added that he would most prefer to see the House Intelligence chairman get called to testify.

“I want to see Adam Schiff testify about the whistleblower - who’s a fake whistleblower,” he said. “The one I want to testify most is Shifty Schiff … and what I want to know most, is why did he make up my statement?”

The president then said he also wanted to see the whistleblower — whose complaint about a 25 July phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart sparked the impeachment inquiry — to testify in a Senate trial.

“I want the whistleblower who put in a false report to testify,” he said.

And while the interview did not offer much in terms of actual news developments, the president asserted that his running mate in 2020 would remain as vice president Mike Pence.

Addressing rumours he was considering giving the spot to his former UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, Mr Trump said “Nikki would be great but Mike Pence has done a phenomenal job”.

The president at times addressed the Hong Kong protests while saying he was close to a trade deal with China, telling the network: “We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi.”

And when he was pressed about how he would go on to promote a strong economy in the run up to his potential re-election, Mr Trump told the Fox News hosts how he planned to go about it: “By talking to you.”

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