- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2019

President Trump said he has a “duty to report corruption,” hoping to explain his push to look into his main 2020 Democratic foe, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, during a now-famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“I have a duty to report corruption, and let me tell you something, Biden’s son is corrupt. And Biden is corrupt,” Mr. Trump said during an Oval Office appearance with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

Mr. Trump is furious over an impeachment inquiry from House Democrats that centers on a July 25 call in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to assist in an investigation involving Mr. Biden’s official actions in 2016 and Hunter Biden’s business ties in the Ukraine.

Mr. Trump trained most of his ire on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the face of the Democrats’ impeachment push alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“He should resign from office in disgrace and frankly they should look at him for treason,” Mr. Trump said, dubbing him “Shifty Schiff.”

The president also compared the California Democrat unfavorably to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying the congressman couldn’t “carry his blank-strap,” presumably meaning jock strap. The president said he didn’t want to say the actual term.

His broadsides, while Mr. Niinistö sat next to him, followed a string of furious tweets from Mr. Trump about Mr. Schiff and his fellow Democrats.

He wrote that Mr. Schiff should “be so lucky to have the brains, honor and strength of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” and used profanity to decry his political rivals on Capitol Hill.

“The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone’s time and energy on BULLSHIT, which is what they have been doing ever since I got overwhelmingly elected in 2016, 223-306,” he tweeted, though the final tally ended up being 304-227 in Mr. Trump’s favor.

Democrats were astonished by a transcript of the Ukrainian phone call, though Mr. Trump said it was fine and that he was clever for releasing the text.

“They never thought in a million years that I’d release the conversation,” Mr. Trump said, arguing it undercut Democrats’ claims of a quid pro quo involving military aid that Mr. Trump held back from Ukraine before releasing it in mid-September.

Mr. Trump said he hated to release a transcript of the phone call with a foreign leader, generally, adding: “I hope I don’t have to do it again.”

Mr. Trump questioned the legitimacy and accuracy of a government whistleblower who brought the whole episode to the public’s attention through a formal complaint, and he fumed at the person who fed information to the whistleblower.

“That person’s a spy in my opinion,” Mr. Trump said.

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