Speaking to reporters outside the White House before leaving for an event in South Carolina, Trump suggested that he is not exactly a team player.
“Here’s the thing. I don’t have teams. Everyone’s talking about teams. I’m the team,” Trump said.
“I did nothing wrong,” the president added, arguing that the impeachment inquiry is in fact a “phony deal” that House Democrats are pushing in response to his “perfect” call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to Trump, if House Democrats move forward with impeachment, the U.S. economy will crash.
“I really believe you’d have a recession, depression the likes of which this country hasn’t seen,” he said, wondering why Democrats want to impeach him when he is “one of the most successful presidents.”
Although the commander-in-chief is dismissing the need for an impeachment team, some of his allies believe that forming one is necessary in order to successfully combat the inquiry.
A number of Republican lawmakers has expressed frustration with how the White House is handling the probe, with some casting doubt on its messaging strategy.
However, those close to the president — including White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham — have dismissed the need for a so-called war room to combat impeachment, arguing that it is not needed because the president has done nothing wrong during his contacts with the Ukrainian government.
President Trump: "The President of Ukraine said, 'No pressure.'… Adam Schiff defrauded everybody and he made up the conversation in the halls of Congress." pic.twitter.com/wcxURvTCE5
— The Hill (@thehill) October 25, 2019
According to House Democrats, Trump had a quid pro quo agreement with the government of Ukraine — the president pressured the eastern European country to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, threatening to cut military aid unless his request is fulfilled, impeachment advocates claim.
Trump has denied all accusations of wrongdoing, and the White House is now publicly stating that an impeachment war room is not even necessary. However, the commander-in-chief is reportedly growing increasingly frustrated with how some of his closest allies are handling the House Democrats’ probe.
In particular, Trump is reportedly frustrated with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney’s hectic press conference, during which he appeared to admit that there was a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine, allegedly raised eyebrows in the White House, and the chief of staff is being denied access to legal information related to the inquiry.
Joe Biden has denied any wrongdoing, arguing that Trump is targeting his family because he does not want to run against him in 2020.