Speaking to reporters outside the White House in an interaction for which it appeared the president had prepared several key talking points in advance, he admitted Democrats had enough votes to push ahead and vote to formally censure him.
Yet, he said he believed he would be protected by Republicans in the Senate, which would have to vote with a two-thirds majority if the president were to be removed from office.
“So the Democrats. Unfortunately they have the votes,“ Mr Trump said, referring to the House, which only requires to a simple majority to vote to impeach the head of state.
Earlier, it was reported Mr Trump planned to write to House speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand a full procedural vote by the lower chamber before handing over documents Democrats have requested.
He added: “Even though many of them don’t want to. And I do believe that because of what they are doing, with Pelosi the real leadership of AOC plus three, they are going to pay a tremendous price at the polls.”
The president’s reference to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other progressive Democrats often referred to as ‘The Squad’, came during something of a masterclass by Mr Trump in how to muddy the waters.
Having been caught in a controversy he has been unable to throw off like the countless others he has slipped away from during his two-and-half years in office, he has sought to turn the focus away from his own apparent misconduct in regard to pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
A day after calling for both China and Ukraine to launch investigations into alleged misconduct by the former vice president and his son – claims for which there is no supporting evidence – the president said it was his duty to try and take on corruption.
Mr Trump also repeated another claim for which there is no evidence, namely that Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, took out “a billion and a half dollars out of China”.
“Biden is corrupt, his son is corrupt,” Mr Trump said. “His son takes out billions of dollars, billions, and he has no experience.”
US media has for months reported that Mr Trump’s reelection campaign is most concerned about the threat posed by Mr Biden, who remains joint frontrunner with Elizabeth Warren.
Yet the president claimed he had never thought Mr Biden was going to win the Democratic nomination.
“I don’t care about Biden’s campaign. I care about corruption,” he added.
Mr Trump said he had spoken with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and seen his statement that he saw nothing wrong in the president’s call with the leader of Ukraine. As a result, he said, he believed he would be supported by Republicans in the Senate.
This week, in a rare television interview, Mr McConnell told CNBC that Congressional rules would require the Senate to consider an impeachment vote if the House passed such a censure. Yet, he said there was no requirement as to how much time was dedicated to it.
“What I want to do is spend our time accomplishing things for the American people,” he said.
“They spent the last three years harassing this president and I gather we’re going to get another chapter of that with the impeachment episode. But we need to find other things that actually make a difference for the American people and accomplish as much as we can,” he said.
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