As televised impeachment hearings continued today, with two more witnesses testifying that President Donald Trump sought a “quid pro quo” from Ukraine, Trump has reportedly been experiencing sharp mood swings as he watches the process unfold. According to White House aides who spoke with Politico, Trump has been “frustrated” and “angry” while viewing the proceedings — though he has also, on occasion, been “super calm and cheery.”
Trump appeared “uncharacteristically terse” on Wednesday during the testimony of United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Politico reported. Stopping to speak to reporters as he departed the White House for Texas, Trump repeated one section of Sondland’s testimony in which the ambassador quoted Trump as telling him, “I want nothing [from Ukraine].”
But breaking from his usual practice, Trump declined to take questions from reporters and quickly walked off to the waiting Marine One helicopter.
Trump took to Twitter today to lash out at witness David Holmes, a U.S. embassy political counselor who testified that he overheard Trump talking about “investigations” with Sondland via cell phone.
The alleged “quid pro quo” at the center of the impeachment proceedings consists of Trump’s demand for Ukraine to announce an investigation into Democrat Joe Biden in exchange for the release of badly needed military aide and an official visit to the White House for Ukraine’s newly elected president.
"It was made clear that a Burisma/Biden investigation was a precondition for an oval office visit."— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) November 21, 2019
David Holmes becomes the 500,000th staffer to lay out the quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/1qyWmXCnRk
In his Twitter post, Trump suggested that Holmes fabricated his account of the phone call. Trump said in the tweet though his hearing was “great,” when listening to other people talk on the phone, he had never “been able to hear or understand a conversation. I’ve even tried, but to no avail.”
Politico described Trump’s responses as “the latest in a series of ever-shifting Trump reactions — which can change by the hour.”
“Sometimes he’s super calm and cheery and other times he’s pissed when he sees something,” one White House official told Politico.
Another person close to the president told Politico that Trump is “frustrated and irritated, but he’s not overly frustrated and irritated,” while a former Trump campaign adviser said that for Trump, “there are good days. There are bad days.”
Today appeared to start off as a bad day for Trump, however. While apparently viewing an early-morning Fox News broadcast, Trump again took to his Twitter account, this time to slam the conservative news network for airing an interview with Representative Eric Swalwell of California, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting the televised impeachment hearings.
Trump denounced Fox for what he called a “waste” of “airtime” on Swalwell.
“Fox should stay with the people that got them there, not losers!” Trump tweeted.