Trump hits back against impeachment hearings, defends Giuliani’s Ukraine dealings

Tom Brenner / Reuters

Less than 24 hours after the House wrapped up a marathon round of public impeachment hearings, President Donald Trump on Friday hit back hard, denying all wrongdoing in his dealings with Ukraine, insulting witnesses and key Democrats involved in the inquiry and defending putting Rudy Giuliani in charge of a parallel policy process in Ukraine.

Trump, however, defended his decision to put Giuliani, a private citizen, in the middle of Ukraine policy Friday, citing his experience, decades ago, in fighting corruption as a U.S. attorney and as the mayor of New York City.

Two associates of Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped the former mayor dig for dirt in Ukraine on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, were indicted last month on charges that they were funneling money from foreign entities to U.S. candidates in a plot to buy political influence.

He also said he was angry with her because “she wouldn’t hang my picture in the (U.S.) embassy (in Ukraine).”

And he wouldn’t back down from his belief in a conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in a way that favored Hillary Clinton and hurt his campaign — a widely debunked theory that contributed to the impeachment inquiry in the first place because Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart he wanted the accusation investigated.

“They have the server from the DNC,” Trump insisted about Ukraine Friday. “And I still want to see that server.”

When asked by the “Fox and Friends” hosts if he was “sure” about that claim, Trump responded, ”Well that’s what the word is.”

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