AUSTIN (KXAN) — President Donald Trump told KXAN that “you have to believe what you hear” when it comes to the impeachment inquiry during his visit to Austin on Wednesday.
In an exclusive interview with KXAN’s Phil Prazan, the president gave his verdict on Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s appearance at the inquiry Wednesday morning.
Trump was visiting Austin to tour an Apple manufacturing facility, Flex, where the company is creating its new line of Mac Pro computers.
The president on impeachment
Earlier in the day, Ambassador Sondland connected Trump directly to the quid pro quo, stating that “everyone was in the loop” — a statement that implicated White House officials and top officials like Chief of Staff Mulvaney and Secretary of State Pompeo.
But the president told KXAN that Ambassador Sondland, who he described as the “star witness” in the inquiry, turned out to be a “disaster.” After the impeachment inquiry began Sondland described a phone call between himself and the President when the President told him he wanted nothing from the Ukraine.
In response, Austin’s democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett pointed to the other part of Sondland’s testimony.
“Republican Gordon Sondland, who contributed one million dollars to Trump’s inauguration and who Trump recently described as a ‘great American,’ offered extraordinary, devastating testimony. He made explicit the President’s lies about his misuse of public resources for his personal gain in what Sondland identified as a direct quid pro quo The bribery, extortion, and extent of Trump’s corruption is on full display from this hand-picked, key Trump appointee,” said Doggett.
Trump was asked who the public should trust when it comes to conflicting statements.
He replied “I think you have to believe what you hear, because frankly, this is the greatest hoax in American history in terms of politics. It’s a witch hunt, it’s been going on for more than three years, and today’s testimony was 100% for us.
“This was going to be their star witness, he turned out to be a disaster for them, and they know it, they’ve admitted it.
“What he said is there was no quid pro quo. He talked to me specifically, he said there is no quid pro quo, the president wanted nothing. I said I want nothing, zero, nothing. And that’s the way it is.”
The president on tariffs
Trump was also asked whether tariffs that would affect products made by Apple are likely to come into effect on December 15.
He said “It depends on what happens with China, if they make a deal. Right now China wants a deal much more than I do.
“Our country is doing better than we’ve ever done. It’s the largest economy in the world and now by far. When I came in, China was going to overtake us and quickly and it didn’t work out that way. We’ve really expanded a lot and they’ve contracted.
Austin’s Democratic Congressman, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, notes President Trump’s claim of opening the manufacturing plant he toured is completely false.
“Trump lives in a totally fact-free environment. His claim of opening a manufacturing plant that’s been in Austin for years is as divorced from reality as his claim that he didn’t try to bribe Ukraine. All he did was block our roadways, attack respected local journalists as ‘fake news,’ and attempt to distract from today’s devastating testimony by his own appointee about Trump’s misuse of public resources for his personal gain,” said Doggett.
“It’s going very well for us. China wants to make a deal. We’ll see if we make it. It’s got to be a great deal for us.”