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Trump vents frustration that Ukraine drama overshadowed UN trip

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump concluded his visit to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday by slamming Democrats and the press for undermining him on the world stage by focusing their attention on his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

What he’s saying: Trump suggested House Democrats were faking their outrage over his request that Ukraine investigate alleged "corruption" by Joe Biden and his son Hunter, saying Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler “must laugh their asses off” in private after denouncing him on camera. Repeatedly describing his conversation with Zelensky as “perfect,” Trump asked, “Impeachment for that?”

The latest: Trump said he’d be willing to release details of a prior call with Zelensky, as well as communications between Zelenksy and Vice President Pence. He also said he had told House Republicans he supports “transparency” concerning the whistleblower, whose concerns about the call sparked the controversy — but he claimed the complaint was based on “supposedly secondhand information.”

Trump described his trip to the UN this week as “tremendous” and “very busy,” and he began with references to his bilateral meetings with about a dozen world leaders.

  • He bemoaned the fact that it was all overshadowed by the frenzy back in Washington over impeachment. “The witch hunt continues,” he said with frustration.
  • Trump insisted there was “no quid pro quo” whereby Zelensky would be “pressured” to investigate Biden in exchange for the release of U.S. military aid, which he'd frozen days before the call.
  • He said, with no evidence, that there was such a quid pro quo in Biden’s actions in Ukraine. There's no evidence Biden intervened improperly in an investigation into his son's business dealings in Ukraine, as Trump claims.

The bottom line: Trump was asked whether he was now prepared for a prolonged impeachment saga. He said that after the Mueller report came out, “I thought we won. I thought it was dead.” He didn’t hide his frustration that it isn’t.