Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 August 2020

US President Trump 'wants long impeachment trial'

The travel ban, a trade deal with the EU and climate change were all on the US president's mind after copious meetings at Davos

US President Donald Trump, walks through the Congress Center following a news conference on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Bloomberg
US President Donald Trump, walks through the Congress Center following a news conference on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Bloomberg

US President Donald Trump wants to see his aides, including former national security adviser John Bolton, testify in the Senate, he told a press conference on Wednesday.

Speaking after meetings at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Trump said he would prefer the Senate to call witnesses rather than approve the immediate dismissal of charges of abusing the powers of his office.

“Personally, I’d rather go the long route,” he said, before suggesting that there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony.

Democrats say Mr Trump abused his power in his dealings with Ukraine and obstructed Congress in its investigation. Mr Trump denies any wrongdoing.

In the surprise, wide-ranging, news conference Mr Trump lauded his legal team after more than 12 hours of arguments on procedural motions in which Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to immediately call witnesses and subpoena documents.

Honestly, we have all the material. They don't have the material.

Donald Trump

“It’s such a hoax,” Mr Trump said of the impeachment case against him. “I think it’s so bad for our country.”

The US president even went on to say "I didn't think Bill Clinton should have been impeached."

When asked about going to the impeachment trial the US president said he would love to “sit right in the front row and stare at their corrupt faces” on the Senate floor during the trial but that his attorneys may have an issue with it.

The US president also delineated his view of Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, a leading figure in the impeachment proceedings, as a "dishonest sleazeball". The president said he was happy to have kept records of his conversations with other individuals.

The United States is moving to add more countries to its travel ban list, Mr Trump said but gave no other details, saying the changes would be announced soon.

US media on Tuesday reported that the Trump administration is planning to add seven countries - Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania - to the travel ban list.

On the World Trade Organisation, Mr Trump told reporters that he has a "tremendous relationship" with the organisation and that "we're going to do something very dramatic."

The US president also indicated that he believes the US will have a new trade deal with the EU by November.

Mr Trump struck a conciliatory tone when it came to teenage activist Greta Thunberg, saying he doesn't think climate change is a hoax and would have loved to have seen her speak while he was at Davos, noting Ms Thunberg "beat me out on Time magazine."

He also said that she should shift her attention away from the United States to focus on "those dirtier places".

Updated: January 22, 2020 06:50 PM

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