U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was “too busy to watch” the first public impeachment hearing over his dealings with Ukraine.
“I’m too busy to watch it. It’s a witch hunt, it’s a hoax, I’m too busy to watch it. So, I’m sure I’ll get a report,” Trump told reporters before a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House.
Earlier in the day, the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee began the hearings with testimonies from William Taylor, acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent.
Trump called the hearings “witch hunt” and a “hoax,” saying House Democrats are using “television lawyers.”
“There’s nothing, I have not been briefed. There’s nothing there. I see they’re using lawyers that are television lawyers, they took some guys off television. You know. I’m not surprised to see it, because [Adam] Schiff can’t do his own questions,” Trump said, referring to the House Intelligence Committee chairman.
Marie Yovanovitch, who served as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine until May when she was dismissed, will testify Friday.
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump on Sept. 24 following claims by a whistle-blower that the president sought to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential elections.
In a July 25 telephone call, Trump repeatedly pressed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a probe into former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, a businessman, over unsubstantiated corruption allegations.
The elder Biden is a leading candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump for the presidency in 2020.
Trump, a Republican, has accused Democrats of time-wasting and says the House inquiry amounts to a “lynching,” maintaining he did nothing wrong.