President Trump lamented Democrats' push for impeachment in his first on-camera remarks since the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — Friday morning, forecasting that one day there will be a Democratic president and a Republican House will "remember" what is happening now. Mr. Trump made the remarks seated alongside Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez at the White House.
"It's a scam, it's something that shouldn't be allowed, and it's a very bad thing for our country, and you're trivializing impeachment," the president said in the Oval Office. "And I tell you what, some day there will be a Democrat president and there will be a Republican House, and I suspect they're going to remember it."
The president added that fundraising for Republicans has gone "through the roof" during the impeachment process, calling the Democrats "disgusting." The president said Democrats have made "absolute fools of themselves," decrying the entire process as a "witch hunt" and a "sham."
The full House is expected to take up a vote on impeachment next week before breaking for the holidays. Asked if he wants a long or short Senate trial, the president said he's heard remarks from Senate Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who are calling for a shorter trial. The president said he'd still like to hear from the whistleblower. Leading Senate Republicans have been pushing for a shorter trial, even as the president has said he'd like to hear from the Bidens, the whistleblower and more witnesses.
"I'll do whatever I want," Mr. Trump said, without clarifying what it is he wants.
"I'll do long or short," he added. "... I'll do whatever they want to do, it doesn't matter."
The president's meeting with the president of Paraguay also comes after he announced a phase-one trade agreement with China. Mr. Trump said he was working on that issue when the House committee impeachment vote took place.
"It's going to lead to the opening of China, which is something that is incredible," Mr. Trump said in the Oval Office.
The Paraguayan president's visit is focusing on "strengthening cooperation between the two countries to bring improved economic prosperity and support democracy in Paraguay and the region," the White House said in a statement earlier this month. Mr. Trump and Benítez will discuss issues including women's empowerment, crime and trade, the White House said.
The meeting also comes as the House announced a finalized U.S.Mexico-Canada Agreement. the USCMA is expected to go to be voted on by the House next week.
"This has been a wild week," Mr. Trump said in the Oval Office in a statement few would challenge.