President Trump refused to answer a question from Reuters' Jeff Mason about what he was asking Ukraine's president to do about Joe Biden and his son during a now-infamous July 25 phone call. Instead, Trump criticized European countries for not providing aid to Ukraine, attacked the impeachment investigation as a "hoax" and berated Mason for being "rude."
- MASON: "The question, sir, was what did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son Hunter?
- TRUMP: "Are you talking to me?"
- MASON: "Yes. It's just a follow-up of what I just asked you, sir."
- TRUMP: "Listen, are you ready? We have the president of Finland. Ask him a question."
- MASON: "I have one for him. I wanted to follow up on the one that I asked you."
- TRUMP: Did you hear me? Did you hear me? Ask him a question. I've given you a long answer, ask this gentleman a question. Don't be rude. I've answered everything. It's a whole hoax. And you know who's playing into this hoax? People like you and the fake news media that we have in this country. And I say in many cases, the corrupt media."
The big picture: Trump's bilateral press conference with the president of Finland was dominated by questions about the Ukraine investigation and the whistleblower.
- Trump again accused House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of "treason" and claimed, without evidence, that Schiff helped write the whistleblower complaint. This was in response to a New York Times story that reported that the whistleblower reached out to the House Intelligence Committee before filing his complaint.
- Trump repeated a false claim about the summary of his call with Ukraine's president being "an exact transcript," despite the White House explicitly writing on the release that it was not verbatim.
- The president also renewed his attacks on former special counsel Robert Mueller, lamenting that he got "3 days of peace" after the conclusion of the 2-year investigation before the Ukraine controversy burst into public view.
- Trump concluded the press conference by claiming that U.S. democracy would be better off if the media were honest, singling out "the CNNs of the world, who are corrupt people."