2019-10-22 12:01:071 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
To the surprise of no one, the more pressure that Donald Trump feels from the impeachment inquiry, the more he is continuing to lash out at Democrats and the whistleblower who complained about the president's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, charging that he asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate his former and present political rivals in exchange for military aid for the Ukraine.
He is continuing to push for a release of the whistleblower's identity. "Do we have to protect somebody that gave a totally false account of my conversation?" he asked during a Cabinet meeting. "I don't know. You tell me."
The whistleblower's complaint inspired House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry, arguing a gross abuse of power.
House Democrats contend the accusations lodged in the whistleblower's complaint match what was said in the Trump-Zelensky phone call.
Yet, Trump told reporters on Monday that the Democrats have "nothing."
"I think they want to impeach me because it's the only way they're going to win," he said. "They've got nothing. All they have is a phone call that is perfect. All they have is a whistleblower who's disappeared. Where is he?"
Additionally, the president feels the officials who provided the information to the whistleblower should be exposed.
But a former federal prosecutor in New York City, Mimi Rocah, says it would be illegal for Trump or others to reveal the whistleblower's identity.
"The whistleblower was a tipster and, just like when someone calls the police to say, 'Hey, I heard that five people robbed a bank today, and here is why they did it and left the evidence,' you don't need anything more from the tipster — you go and find the evidence," said Rocah.
"That's what's happened here, and we also have multiple confessions," she added, calling Trump's insistence on outing the whistleblower a transparent attempt to divert our attention" away from the mounting evidence.
House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) is running the impeachment inquiry along with House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel (D-NY) and was running it with the late House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings, before his recent death.
But Trump focuses most of his criticism on the congressman he has dubbed "Shifty Schiff," along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying, "These people are trying to destroy the country."
"The president of the United States should be allowed to run the country and not have to focus on this kind crap," he added, "while at the same time doing a great job on Syria and Turkey."
He even defended Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a Democratic presidential candidate, in his effort to attack his favorite foe and 2016 opponent, former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton (D-NY). The two were having a war of words through tweets.
The way Trump tells it, Clinton is "accusing everyone of being a Russian agent," adding, "These people are sick. There's something wrong with them."
He also aimed criticism at the Democrats for speaking out against his decision to host the next G-7 summit at his Miami Doral resort. He canceled his plans, but not because of the Democrats. He did that because of his fellow GOP being against it.
"I would have given it for nothing," he said of the potential use of his resort. "The Democrats went crazy, even though I would have done it free."
Frequent Republican foe Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) caught his ire as well. While noting the Democrats stick together, he said, "They don't have Mitt Romney in their midst. They don't have people like that. They stick together. You never see them break off."
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