Calls for Impeaching Trump Grow Louder, He Responds: A+ for My Presidency
Amid the worst political crisis since entering the White House, US President Donald Trump is spearheading his own defense against voices calling for impeaching him.
Two days after his former campaign manager was convicted of money laundering and tax evasion, and his one-time personal lawyer pleaded guilty to charges of violating campaign rules, Trump made himself his own spokesman, economic forecaster and legal expert.
He claimed the world’s financial markets would crash and make everybody “very poor” if his critics sought to impeach him.
“If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor,” he told Fox News, in an interview that aired on Thursday morning. “You would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe.”
Both Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and ex-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, have yet to be sentenced, and Manafort faces a second trial on related changes.
While Manafort, or rather his lawyers, has yet commented on this week’s verdict, Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, suggested his client was prepared to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election. He said Cohen could about a “conspiracy to collude”.
Supporters of the president have claimed Cohen was effectively forced “to flip” Mr Mueller, given the prospect of a lengthy jail term, and the so-called fixer said earlier this summer that protecting his family – and not the president – had become his top priority.
Trump, said to be furious that Cohen had told a New York court that his actions had been directed by the president, even suggested that such a process ought to be ended, because once defendants had flipped they “just make up lies”.
“For 30, 40 years I’ve been watching flippers. Everything’s wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they – they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go,” he said.
“You know, I guess it says something like high crimes and all – I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job.”
Asked as to how he would rate his presidency to date, Trump referred to the US’s record bull market and his successful appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
“I give myself an A+. I don’t think any president has ever done what I have done,” he said.
“We haven’t even been two years [in office]. Biggest tax cuts in history. Soon to be two unbelievable Supreme Court justices, I’m sure that Justice Kavanaugh will be approved. Justice Gorsuch has been a star.”
He added: “You look at all the things we have done with regulations, the economy is the best it has ever been in history. The only thing I’m doing badly in is the press doesn’t cover me fairly.”
Trump did not say if he would pardon Manafort, but expressed “great respect” for him and argued some of the charges “every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does”.
Cohen, who said he would not seek a pardon from Trump, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to eight charges, including campaign finance violations that he said he carried out in coordination with the then Republican presidential candidate. The Associated Press said behind closed doors, Trump expressed worry and frustration that a man intimately familiar with his political, personal and business dealings for more than a decade had turned on him.
Trump’s legal problems have made the upcoming midterm elections all the more significant. Republicans currently control both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
If they were to lose the house, as most analysts expect them to, it could open the way for impeachment proceedings against the president to begin. Analysts currently believe Republicans will likely retain control of the Senate, which would need to either confirm, or vote down, any impeachment motion from the lower chamber.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team