Trump remains defiant as House pushes toward impeachment

National

WASHINGTON (AP) — An incredulous and defiant President Donald Trump stared down Wednesday’s impending impeachment vote as he has every obstacle in his presidency: broadcasting his grievances by tweet.

The White House insisted Trump would be busy working rather than focused on Wednesday’s proceedings in the House, but Trump spent his morning tweeting, retweeting and expressing disbelief.

“Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG!,” Trump wrote in all-caps. He asked his followers to “Say a PRAYER!”

He added: “This should never happen to another President again.”

For Trump, it was an acknowledgment of the inevitable: That he will become just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. While he and White House officials have tried to brush off the significance — noting there is little chance he will be convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate and removed from office — allies nonetheless acknowledge that Trump is indeed concerned about the stain the episode will leave on his legacy.

Trump planned his own counter-programming Wednesday evening, with what is expected to be a highly charged rally in the battleground state of Michigan.

Otherwise, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, Trump will be “working all day” as the House takes up two articles of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“He will be briefed by staff throughout that day, and could catch some of the proceedings between meetings,” Grisham said.

Trump had plenty to say via tweet, declaring that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “Will go down in history as worst Speaker.” He also generously retweeted allies’ comments from his favorite morning show, “Fox & Friends,” as they sought to reassure conservative voters that Trump remains in good spirits despite the looming vote.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, and Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, said they were among a group of GOP lawmakers who met with Trump at the White House on Tuesday evening to talk strategy about Wednesday’s House session and the likely Senate trial in January.

McCarthy insisted that Trump remains focused on moving his agenda, even though his legacy will forever include impeachment.

“Anybody else, this would be traumatic for them,” said McCarthy. He noted that Trump in recent days has hosted multiple White House holiday parties and will be rallying Wednesday evening. “I’ve never seen a man so strong. … He is focused on what the American people need.”

Grisham told “”Fox & Friends” that Trump will have plenty to say about the vote at his evening campaign rally in Battle Creek.

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