Sep 25, 6:53 PM EDT Newsletter Signup BusinessTechnologyWorldNationalMedia & CultureOpinionSportsLuxury World By Sebastian Smith, with Paul Handley in Washington 09/25/19 AT 6:36 PM A downbeat Donald Trump on Wednesday dismissed as a “joke” the grounds laid out for the impeachment inquiry into him, as Democrats stood firm in accusing the US president of a “mafia-style shakedown” of his Ukrainian counterpart.Trump denied claims he abused his office by repeatedly urging President Volodymyr Zelensky to probe his rival Joe Biden — as confirmed in a call transcript released by the White House.”They are getting hit hard on this witch hunt because when they look at the information, it’s a joke,” said the president, who struck an uncharacteristically subdued tone at his first news conference since Democrats launched an official impeachment inquiry.”Impeachment for that? When you have a wonderful meeting or you have a wonderful phone conversation?”A more defiant Trump had earlier insisted he exerted “no pressure” on Kiev — a claim echoed by Zelensky, who appeared side-by-side with the US leader at a long-planned meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.But the publication of the transcript sent new shockwaves through Washington, including within the ranks of Trump’s Republican Party, with… Read full this story
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