This week the impeachment investigation became public, as more and more government officials testified about their alarm around Trump and Ukraine
He was thinking of them (he was taking it all in stride, he exclaimed) when he told a rally of supporters in Louisiana on Thursday, “It’s been very unfair, very hard on my family.”
This week the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives made public its ongoing probe into the lengths that Trump may have gone to in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals ahead of next year’s election.
“‘Impeachment’ to me is a dirty word,” the president, 73, said at his Thursday rally.
“It’s been very hard on my family,” he said, later adding another “very hard” to his description.
“Me?” Trump wondered to the crowd. Feh. “My whole life is crazy — what a life I lead! You think this is fun, don’t you? But it’s been hard on my family. Very, very hard.”
But Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior aide, has defended him on Twitter — albeit obliquely, sharing a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson about “enemies and spies” — and in interviews, telling the Associated Press that the impeachment investigation was an effort to oust her father outside of the ballot box.
She spoke in cooler tones than her father, who has compared the investigation to a “lynching” and “witch hunt.”
“Basically since the election, this has been the experience that our administration and our family has been having,” Ivanka told the AP last week. “Rather than wait, under a year, until the people can decide for themselves based on his record and based on his accomplishments, this new effort has commenced.”
President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., who helps run the family business and is a favorite surrogate on the campaign trail, has been sharing anti-impeachment memes on social media, echoing his father’s favorite response to criticism.
Meanwhile, the House continues to hear testimony from government officials about what they say was a focus of the president: that Ukraine should help with his desired investigations into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden‘s family in order to receive the support of his administration — including hundreds of millions in military aid for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.
“President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden,” Bill Taylor, America’s top diplomat in Ukraine, on Wednesday recalled another government official as saying.
Taylor was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
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He had previously texted with another official, writing, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” The other official told him he was wrong in his assessment of the president’s motives.
Taylor disagreed, saying Wednesday in his testimony: “Security was so important for Ukraine, as well as our own national interests. To withhold that assistance for no good reason other than help with a political campaign made no sense. It was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. It was illogical. It could not be explained. It was crazy.”
The president, however, denies he did anything wrong whatsoever in his dealings with Ukraine and he has warned other conservatives not to even cede that he may have been inappropriate instead of criminal.