Although a “very sad thing for our country,” according to the president, the impeachment proceedings have been good for him politically.
Polls show that voters — independent voters in particular — oppose impeachment, Trump argued.
The president said that “the polls have gone through the roof because — especially with independent voters and especially in swing states.”
“I can show you numbers nobody’s ever seen before,” he added.
According to The Washington Post, which fact-checked the president’s claims, polls do not actually suggest that voters oppose impeachment. Support for removing Trump from office surged when House Democrats announced their inquiry, remaining steady since.
Among independents, support is up 8.8 points since September. Support for impeachment dropped among independent voters at certain points since the launch of the investigation, but it has since recovered, largely staying flat since the House vote to formalize the inquiry.
The president’s approval rating has not changed much, according to polls. The impeachment investigation had little to no impact on Trump’s numbers, and his approval ratings have consistently stayed between 40 and 45 percent.
During the press briefing, Trump also took aim at leading Democrats in the country, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. The president repeated his claim that Democrats have been working on impeaching him for more than two years.
According to Trump, Pelosi was working on impeachment “two years before we ever spoke to Ukraine, she said we’ve been working on impeachment for two and a half years.”
“And the reporter was shocked when they got this answer because it showed she’s a liar,” the president added.
As Mediaite notes, Trump has suggested on numerous occasions that Pelosi admitted to a reporter that Democrats have been building a case for impeachment for over two years. However, the speaker was actually referring to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.
Trump’s remarks came after the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve two articles of impeachment, formally accusing the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
According to House Democrats, Trump committed impeachable offenses when he allegedly pressured the Ukrainian authorities to investigate his political rivals.
Trump invited foreign meddling in the 2020 election, Democrats claim, by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The president allegedly did so in order to damage Biden’s campaign, freezing military aid in order to force the Ukrainian government to do as he says.