Bizarrely, President Trump used a rambling 53-minute phone appearance on the Fox & Friends, in which he told at least 18 lies, today to publicly say he wants to be put on trial in the Senate for his impeachable offenses. (video below)
It’s the 67th time that Trump has phoned into the Fox News morning program, which has forever been a Republican presidential safe space. But today’s appearance was different, devolving rapidly into a desperately rambling Trump.
The interview began innocently enough with host Ainsley Earhardt pitching a few of the usual softball questions about the Department of Justice’s Inspector General report that upheld the FBI’s handling of FISA warrants issued against his Russia-linked former 2016 campaign advisor Carter Page, only citing one low-ranking lawyer for wrongdoing. But the president began a tirade against the Obama Administration over his past lies and conspiracy theories before moving on to rail against House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
That’s when Trump tried and couldn’t get Fox’s pliable hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade to back him up, when he spun a broken yarn about Crowdstrike, Ukraine and the very conspiracy theory his own former top Europe and Russia advisor testified in a public House impeachment hearing yesterday, comes straight from President Putin himself, and is damaging to use in America’s domestic politics because it advances a “fictional narrative.”
Then, midway through the appearance, Donald Trump decided to drop a bombshell wish; a request that seems almost destined to be fulfilled at some point, however, not something any other president has generally requested, let alone in a national television appearance. He said this, unbidden, to Fox & Friends:
TRUMP: We wanted to call the whistleblower. But you know who I wanted as the first witness, because, frankly, I want a trial. You know, I could — think I could have it if he — whatever I want.”
KILMEADE: You want a trial?
TRUMP: Oh, I would — look, number one, they should never, ever impeach. This is not impeach — I watched, I watched five people on your network yesterday say there’s nothing here. Andy McCarthy, how about Ken, special prosecutor, special counsel.
KILMEADE: Ken Starr.
TRUMP: Ken Starr. He was fantastic. He said there’s nothing here.
Trump continued to rant for several more minutes, cutting off any possibility of the hosts asking him further questions.
The entire interview could be taken into consideration as evidence by the House’s impeachment investigators because he appeared to confirm that he did have the now-infamous conversation with Ambassador Gordon Sondland at an insecure location, though he denied asking for a Biden investigation on FOX today.
If the president really thinks Ken Starr was fantastic, then he obviously didn’t spend much time watching the impeachment hearings on Fox News this week, which the rabidly partisan former independent counsel said should set the stage for Republican senators to ask for his resignation. He also told Fox viewers that there is a “litigable” case against Trump for bribery, in other words, that the impeachment hearings definitely have resulted in a case worth taking to trial.
In fact, Fox News hasn’t been the totally safe space President Trump wants during these impeachment hearings. For example, longtime anchor Chris Wallace admitted that EU Ambassador Sondland’s testimony was very, very damning.
“To a certain degree, [Sondland] took out the bus and ran over President Trump, Vice President Pence, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney,” said Wallace. “He implicates all of them.”
President Trump should be very careful what he wishes for in his public appearances because he just might see his wishes come true.
Watch President Trump ask to be put on trial in the Senate:
President Trump just said this on @foxandfriends in a phone interview this morning:
"I want a trial."
The hosts tried to ask him a follow-up question about that, but he didn't stop talking to respond to them. pic.twitter.com/i54B0f2xAW
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) November 22, 2019
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition