When asked at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon whether he had paid attention to the first televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry facing him, Donald Trump told reporters that he had completely ignored the event, according to a report by The Associated Press.
“I hear it’s a joke. I haven’t watched for one minute,” Trump said, adding that he had been visiting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the day.
But his Twitter account told a different story. Whether Trump viewed “one minute” of the hearings on television remains unclear, but he retweeted eight video clips from the hearings during the time period in which they were on the air.
Earlier, Trump administration Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham was asked whether Trump was tuned into the meetings. According to Grisham, Trump was not watching. Instead, he was in the Oval Office, taking meetings and “working,” Grisham said, according to a HuffPost report.
Even though he was said to be working during the hearings, “Trump’s account managed to retweet nearly two dozen posts during the hearing Wednesday morning,” according to the HuffPost report.
In addition, as HuffPost noted, when a president is present in the Oval Office, a United States Marine guard will be posted outside the office door at all times. But at the time when Grisham claimed that Trump was “working” in the Oval Office, no Marine was posted outside the storied room.
The public hearings started at about 10 a.m. EST and ran until approximately 3:30 p.m. At noon, Trump appeared in public to welcome Erdogan to the White House. But what he was doing prior to that time remains uncertain.
Trump also posted a video of himself to his Twitter account, as AP reported. In the video, Trump stands in the Rose Garden at the White House and condemns the impeachment inquiry as the “single greatest scam in the history of American politics.”
When the video was recorded is also unclear.
Grisham later tweeted a “behind the scenes” photo of Trump’s White House meeting with Erdogan, as HuffPost reported. In the tweet, Grisham again emphasized how busy Trump was, and added, “the dems continue their kangaroo court, wasting taxpayer time & money.”
Seven of the eight videos posted to Trump’s Twitter feed, according to their timestamps, appeared to have been posted during the period that Trump was in meetings with Erdogan, raising questions about how busy Trump kept with the Turkish president.
Trump also repeated his claim that he did not watch “one minute” of the hearings in a separate statement to the press, as quoted in the HuffPost report, adding that what he called the “sham” impeachment proceedings “shouldn’t be allowed.”