Intelligence chair Schiff not ruling out more impeachment hearings – as it happened

Last modified: 01: 04 AM GMT+0

Schiff says he’s ‘not willing to wait months and months and let them play rope-a-dope with us in the courts’ – follow all the latest


That’s all from me! Thanks for joining us for this momentous week in US politics.

Here are the biggest stories of the day:

  • Adam Schiff, the chair of the House intelligence committee, would not rule out the possibility of additional public impeachment hearings as his panel begins to draft its report on the inquiry.
  • Trump said in a Fox and Friends interview that he wants a trial in the impeachment inquiry, which would require the House to impeach him first. The president argued a trial would allow him to call Schiff and the whistleblower whose complaint initiated the inquiry as witnesses.
  • As Trump’s Republican allies air baseless claims that Ukraine may have meddled in the 2016 election, a report emerged that senators were recently recently on a Russian disinformation campaign to blame Kyiv for its own election interference.
  • The justice department inspector general’s widely anticipated report on the origins of the Russia investigation is expected to criticize lower-level FBI officials while debunking the president’s claims that senior leaders’ anti-Trump bias affected their handling of the probe.
  • Joe Biden said his former Senate colleague Lindsey Graham should be “embarrassed” for his role defending Trump against the impeachment inquiry.
  • Michael Bloomberg is preparing to launch his presidential campaign with a huge ad blitz.

If there’s one thing that Bloomberg’s entrance into this race portends, it’s more discussion about billionaires and money in politics.

“That’s a lot of dough,” @KamalaHarris says, when asked about Michael Bloomberg’s new ad buys. “We’ve got to get money out of politics.”

Harris is in Muscatine tonight for a meet and greet. #IACaucus

— Libby Meyer (@libmeyer) November 23, 2019

Followers of Michael Bloomberg’s mayoralty in New York City may remember the billionaire’s attempts to speak Spanish during important announcements and natural disasters – and the parody Twitter account, @ElBloombito, that it inspired.

So eyebrows were certainly raised when El Bloombito appeared to get bumped off as Bloomberg began his presidential campaign.

Colleague: "they got El Bloombito."

— Kate Hinds (@katehinds) November 22, 2019

But worry not! According to BuzzFeed News editor Mat Honan, it’s all just an error on Twitter’s side.

A Twitter spokesperson told me that the @elbloombito suspension was due to a mistake on its end, and that the account will be back soon

— Mat Honan (@mat) November 22, 2019

The Republican National Committee spent nearly $100,000 on copies of Donald Trump Jr’s book, the New York Times reports, citing campaign finance disclosures.

The book, Triggered, appeared at No 1 on the New York Times bestseller list when it debuted, but was marked with a dagger symbol that the Times uses to indicate that a title’s sales benefited from bulk orders.

Trump Jr has repeatedly criticized Hunter Biden for benefiting from nepotism.

Actually just said by Donald Trump Jr: "I wish my name was Hunter Biden. I could go abroad and make millions off my father's presidency. I'd be a really rich guy"

— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) October 31, 2019

Bernie Sanders has expressed his “disgust” with Bloomberg’s massive ad buy.

Here's Bernie's statement on the Bloomberg ad buy

— David Dayen (@ddayen) November 22, 2019

Hi everyone, this is Julia Carrie Wong in Oakland, picking up the blog for the final stretch of this incredibly eventful week.

Michael Bloomberg is preparing to launch an extraordinary ad blitz, according to reports. New York Times reporter Astead Wesley has a source suggesting Bloomberg’s initial $31m spend on one week of advertising could be “just the beginning”, with the billionaire prepared to spend between $500m to $1bn.

This is just the beginning. Well placed person told me the expectation in donor crowd was Bloomberg was prepared to spend $500m to $1B

— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) November 22, 2019

Evening summary

That’s it from me after another very eventful week in Washington. My west coast colleague, Julia Carrie Wong, will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Adam Schiff, the chair of the House intelligence committee, would not rule out the possibility of additional public impeachment hearings as his panel begins to draft its report on the inquiry.
  • Trump said in a Fox and Friends interview that he wants a trial in the impeachment inquiry, which would require the House to impeach him first. The president argued a trial would allow him to call Schiff and the whistleblower whose complaint initiated the inquiry as witnesses.
  • As Trump’s Republican allies air baseless claims that Ukraine may have meddled in the 2016 election, a report emerged that senators were recently recently on a Russian disinformation campaign to blame Kyiv for its own election interference.
  • The justice department inspector general’s widely anticipated report on the origins of the Russia investigation is expected to criticize lower-level FBI officials while debunking the president’s claims that senior leaders’ anti-Trump bias affected their handling of the probe.
  • Joe Biden said his former Senate colleague Lindsey Graham should be “embarrassed” for his role defending Trump against the impeachment inquiry.

Julia will have much more on the news of the day, so stay tuned.


Schiff not ruling out more impeachment hearings

Buckle up because more public impeachment hearings could be on the way. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House intelligence committee, would not rule out the possibility of additional hearings as his panel drafts its report in the impeachment inquiry.

Adam Schiff makes a closing statement during an impeachment hearing.
Adam Schiff makes a closing statement during an impeachment hearing. Photograph: POOL/Reuters

“We’re not foreclosing the possibility of additional depositions or hearings, but we’re also not willing to wait months and months and let them play rope-a-dope with us in the courts,” Schiff told the LA Times.

But the California Democrat would not weigh in on when the committee might release its report or whether he believes articles of impeachment against Trump are merited.


John Bolton has provided more details on how he allegedly wrested back control of his personal Twitter account from the White House after his September departure.

According to the former national security adviser, the White House never handed the account back to Bolton. Instead, the fomer official allegedly had to rely on Twiter’s community standards to regain access.

In full disclosure, the @WhiteHouse never returned access to my Twitter account. Thank you to @twitter for standing by their community standards and rightfully returning control of my account.

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) November 22, 2019

DOJ IG reportedly debunks some of Trump's claims against FBI leadership

The Justice Department inspector general has reportedly concluded that the FBI’s senior leadership did not act out of anti-Trump bias in its handling of the Russia investigation, although the IG criticiczed some lower-level officials’ actions at the onset of the probe.

The New York Times reports:

Investigators for the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered errors and omissions in documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — including that a low-level lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap, the people said. ...

More broadly, Mr. Horowitz’s report, to be made public on Dec. 9, portrays the overall effort to seek the wiretap order and its renewals as sloppy and unprofessional, according to the people familiar with it. He will also sharply criticize as careless one of the F.B.I. case agents in New York handling the matter, they said.

At the same time, however, the report debunks a series of conspiracy theories and insinuations about the F.B.I. that Mr. Trump and his allies have put forward over the past two years, the people said, though they cautioned that the report is not complete. The New York Times has not reviewed the draft, which could contain other significant findings.

In particular, while Mr. Horowitz criticizes F.B.I. leadership for its handling of the highly fraught Russia investigation in some ways, he made no finding of politically biased actions by top officials Mr. Trump has vilified like the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey; Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy who temporarily ran the bureau after the president fired Mr. Comey in 2017; and Peter Strzok, a former top counterintelligence agent.

Trump will likely latch on to some of the IG’s findings to again claim the existence of a “deep state” working against his presidency. However, if history is any indication, Trump is unlikely to abandon his accusation that top FBI officials were acting out of bias against him, despite the IG’s conclusions.

In his CNN interview set to air tonight, Joe Biden also mocked the newly formed presidential campaigns of Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick.

Michael Bloomberg prepares to speak at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.
Michael Bloomberg prepares to speak at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. Photograph: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

“Come on. I welcome the competition,” Biden told Don Lemon. “The idea that I’m not in better shape than Mayor Bloomberg, physically and otherwise?”

”Look, this -- Trump is so bad as a President, and so corrupt as a president, that everybody in America who has ever been involved in politics, especially if they have a billion dollars, thinks they could beat Trump. Maybe they could,” Biden continued. “And so what do you have to do? I’m the guy sitting on the top of the pyramid. I get it. I’m a big boy. Never complain, never explain.”

Biden also jabbed Patrick for canceling an event at Morehouse College after only two people showed up for it. “I like Deval. I really do. He’s a good guy. He’s a solid guy,” Biden said. “But I think this is about deciding who is ready for day one to unite this country and demonstrate that they could, and number two, who in fact is ready on day one to be commander-in-chief.”

Biden: I am 'embarrassed' for Lindsey Graham's role in impeachment inquiry

Joe Biden had harsh words for his former Senate colleague Lindsey Graham, who has emerged as one of the president’s most prominenet defenders against the House impeachment inquiry.

“Lindsey is about to go down in a way that I think he’s going to regret his whole life,” Biden in a CNN interview. “I say Lindsey, I just -- I’m just embarrassed by what you’re doing, for you. I mean, my Lord.”

Biden tells @donlemon he's "embarrassed by" Graham's actions after senator asks Pompeo to turn over docs related to Hunter and Ukraine

"Lindsey is about to go down in a way that I think he’s going to regret his whole life," Biden says, adding Trump is "holding power" over him

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 22, 2019

Graham, the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, requested documents this week about Joe and Hunter Biden, apparently following through on Trump’s request to investigate baseless corruption allegations against the former vice president and his son.

“I am disappointed, and quite frankly I’m angered, by the fact -- he knows me; he knows my son; he knows there’s nothing to this,” Biden said of Graham. “Trump is now essentially holding power over him that even the Ukrainians wouldn’t yield to. The Ukrainians would not yield to, quote, ‘investigate Biden’ -- there’s nothing to investigate about Biden or his son.”

John Hendrickson, who wrote the incredible Atlantic article on Joe Biden’s history with stuttering, said in an MSNBC interview that he has received dozens of emails thanking him for exploring the topic.

Hendrickson, who also stutters, said it was his “nightmare” to be doing a television interview and acknowledged he admired Biden for for participating in presidential debates despite his history of stuttering. “I admire his courage,” Hendrickson said.

.@JohnGHendy thought this conversation would be his nightmare.
He explained to me why his new piece in @TheAtlantic about how Joe Biden is handling the challenge of stuttering is so personal to him.
Watch this:

— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) November 22, 2019

If you haven’t read Hendrickson’s piece yet, it’s well worth your time. Here is an excerpt:

Maybe you’ve heard Biden talk about his boyhood stutter. A non-stutterer might not notice when he appears to get caught on words as an adult, because he usually maneuvers out of those moments quickly and expertly. But on other occasions, like [the July debate] in Detroit, Biden’s lingering stutter is hard to miss. He stutters—­if slightly—on several sounds as we sit across from each other in his office. Before addressing the debate specifically, I mention what I’ve just heard. ‘I want to ask you, as, you know, a … stutterer to, uh, to a … stutterer. When you were … talking a couple minutes ago, it, it seemed to … my ear, my eye … did you have … trouble on s? Or on … m?’

Biden looks down. He pivots to the distant past, telling me that the letter s was hard when he was a kid. ‘But, you know, I haven’t stuttered in so long that it’s hhhhard for me to remember the specific—’ He pauses. ‘What I do remember is the feeling.’

As the vaping roundtable was wrapping up, Trump was asked whether he intended to vote for the bill meant to support Hong Kong protesters. “It’s being sent over. We’re going to take a very good look at it,” Trump told reporters.

But the president suggested during his “Fox and Friends” interview this morning that he may veto the legislation. “We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi [Jinping],” Trump said. “I stand with all of the things that we want to do, but we also are in the process of making the largest trade deal in history. And if we could do that, that would be great.”

The comment sparked at least one warning from a Republican senator who supported the legislation, Ted Cruz. Without mentioning Trump’s name, the Texas Republican predicted the legislation would become law regardless because it passed both chambers of Congress with veto-proof majorities.

Sen. Ted Cruz's office responds with this statement from Cruz, emphasizing the bill passed with strong veto-proof majorities:

— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) November 22, 2019

Trump is currently having a lively debate about vaping in the cabinet room, discussing a potential flavor ban with industry executives and (surprisingly) senator Mitt Romney.

The rountable discussion comes less than a week after the New York Times reported Trump was abandoning the flavor ban he had proposed two months earlier after advisers warned him the policy could have negative political repercussions.

Lively discussion on flavored vaping products in the Cabinet Room

— Steve Holland (@steveholland1) November 22, 2019

According to the pool report, Trump raised concerns that a flavor ban could lead to a rise in black market products with fewer safety restrictions. Romney chimed in that only younger vaping customers used flavored products, which the executives contradicted.

The Utah senator then complainted about one vaping company creating a flavor called “unicorn poop” to appeal to children, and a Google search revealed that yes, such a product does indeed exist.

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has a long way to go with black voters if he wants to win the Democratic nomination, and he just suffered another defeat in that department.

Oliver Davis, the longest-serving African American man on the South Bend, Indiana, Common Council, announced he is endorsing Joe Biden for president -- even though Buttigieg is the mayor of his city.

We are so excited to welcome Council Vice President Oliver Davis to #TeamJoe!

— Team Joe (Text JOE to 30330) (@TeamJoe) November 22, 2019

“In times like these, when the political winds are fiercely blowing across our country, it’s important for us to have an experienced leader who has been through the diverse storms of life to guide our country,” Davis said in a statement released by the Biden campaign. “That’s why I am very pleased to support Vice President Joe Biden to be our next President of the United States of America.”

Davis also criticized Buttigieg for struggling to connect with voters of color. “For us, this has been a consistent issue that has not gone away,” Davis told Politico.

Buttigieg has surged in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, but according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, he is hitting close to 0% with black voters in South Carolina, the first southern state of the Democratic primary.

Buttigieg will need to win over non-white voters if he wants a shot at the nomination, and currently Biden is the only candidate attracting consisent support from black Democrats.

Senators reportedly briefed on Russian disinformation campaign about Ukraine

Trump’s Republican allies on the House intelligence committee have used the public impeachment hearings to air baseless allegations that Ukraine may have meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

The US intelligence community has thoroughly confirmed it was Russia that inteference in the 2016 election, and senior intelligence officials reportedly informed senators in a recent briefing that the Kremlin has led a disinformation campaign to blame Ukraine for the meddling.

The New York Times reports:

The Republican defense of Mr. Trump became central to the impeachment proceedings when Fiona Hill, a respected Russia scholar and former senior White House official, added a harsh critique during testimony on Thursday. She told some of Mr. Trump’s fiercest defenders in Congress that they were repeating ‘a fictional narrative’ — and that it likely came from a disinformation campaign by Russian security services, which themselves propagated it.

In a briefing that closely aligned with Dr. Hill’s testimony, American intelligence officials informed senators and their aides in recent weeks that Russia had engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election, according to three American officials. The briefing came as Republicans stepped up their defenses of Mr. Trump in the Ukraine affair.

When John Bolton first started tweeting this morning about regaining access to his Twitter account, the national security council declined to comment on the former Trump official’s renewed social media presence.

I asked the National Security Council about this earlier today, but they declined to comment on the record. Now Bolton makes an accusation —>

— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) November 22, 2019

The former national security adviser may simply be trying to attract attention before releasing his new book, which he signed a deal for earlier this month.

Bolton says White House blocked access to his Twitter account

John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser who resigned (or was fired, depending on who you ask) in September, is offering more details on the resurrection of his Twitter account.

Bolton took to Twitter in September to claim that he had not been fired, as Trump claimed, but had instead offered his resignation as he and the president increasinly diverged on foreign policy.

But his Twitter account has been conspicuously silent since then, prompting questions about why Bolton was not offering more details on his departure. The former official now says the White House blocked access to his personal Twitter account after he left the administration.

Re: speaking up -- since resigning as National Security Advisor, the @WhiteHouse refused to return access to my personal Twitter account. Out of fear of what I may say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) November 22, 2019

Happy Friday, live blog readers! This is Joanie Greve in Washington, taking over for Adam Gabbatt.

Among Trump’s many complaints during his morning “Fox and Friends” interview was that Maria Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, allegedly took more than a year to hang his official picture up at the Kyiv embassy.

However, a member of the longtime diplomat’s legal team has now chimed in to deny Trump’s claim, asserting Yovanovitch hung the photos of the president, vice president and secretary of state “as soon as they arrived” at the embassy.

A person connected to Amb. Marie Yovanovich's legal team, to @NBCNews's @GeoffRBennett:

"The Embassy in Kyiv hung the official photographs of the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State as soon as they arrived from Washington, DC."

— David Gura (@davidgura) November 22, 2019


•Donald Trump addressed the issue of impeachment this morning, claiming: “I want a trial.” A trial in the Senate is the next step should the House vote to impeach the Trump.

•Trump expressed his desire during a bizarre, near hour-long interview on Fox & Friends. Trump also said his own EU ambassador’s sworn testimony on Wednesday hearing was “total nonsense”.

•Elsewhere in his Fox & Friends appearance Trump said people had praised former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch because “she’s a woman, you have to be nice”, and described Rudy Giuliani as “one of the great crime fighters of all time”.

•In other news, former national security adviser John Bolton has sparked intrigue by returning to Twitter. Bolton, who Democrats are keen to hear from as part of the impeachment inquiry, said he was “glad to be back on Twitter after more than two months. For the backstory, stay tuned........”

Elizabeth Warren has announced three female, first-term members of Congress as her campaign co-chairs.

Deb Haaland, Katie Porter and Ayanna Pressley were all elected in 2018. Haaland is one of the first two Native American women to be elected to Congress, Pressley is a Squad member who has been attacked by Donald Trump, and Porter studied law under Warren at Harvard.

Proud to work with @Deb4CongressNM, @KatiePorterOC, and @AyannaPressley. 💪 #Warren2020

— Team Warren (@TeamWarren) November 22, 2019

Time for some Democrat news! Amy Klobuchar, campaigning in New Hampshire today, has been scooping up staff from the embers of Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign.

Klobuchar, undeterred by polls showing she has just 1.5% support nationally, has hired Marina Negroponte to serve as her Nevada state director, and Cameron Miller to serve as her Nevada political director, according to Associated Press.

Nevada votes third in the Democratic primaries. Klobuchar is polling better in the state than she is nationally, at 2% of the vote.

Amy Klobuchar, left.
Amy Klobuchar, left. Photograph: Jack Kurtz/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock


Pete Buttigieg, flying high in the Iowa polls, flying low in states which have a significant population of people of color, has had his South Bend office taken over by protesters this morning.

Garrett Blad, from the Sunrise Movement climate organization, says the occupation is to urge Buttigieg to adopt a Green New Deal for South Bend.

We are occupying the office of @PeteButtigieg because South Bend, & the entire US, needs a Green New Deal.

Pete’s climate plan for South Bend is not good enough. Why? Because we need drastic action NOW.

This is an emergency & Pete needs to act like it. Everything is at stake.

— Garrett Blad 🌅 (@gblad) November 22, 2019

The Washington Post just posted this TikTok showing Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker assaulting a man in an airport:

Today’s @washingtonpost TikTok brought to you by @CoryBooker

— Dave Jorgenson 🧈 (@davejorgenson) November 22, 2019

(I’m kidding, it’s not assault, it’s clearly staged.)


Shephard Smith, the former Fox News anchor who resigned in October, is to donate $500,000 to a non-profit press freedom group, according to the New York Times.

For years Smith was one of the few centrist journalists on Fox News, sometimes clashing with the network’s right-wing hosts.

The Times reported that Smith pledged the $500,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists while speaking at the group’s annual dinner in Manhattan.

“We know that journalists are sometimes wary of being perceived as activists for some cause,” the Times reported Smith as saying.

“But press freedom is not the preserve of one political group or one political party. It’s a value embedded in our very foundational documents. Journalists need to join hands to defend it.”

Shepard Smith, seen here in 2017.
Shepard Smith, seen here in 2017. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

The Trump administration is withholding more than $100 million in US military assistance to Lebanon, according to Associated Press – aid that has been approved by Congress and is favored by his national security team.

From AP:

It’s an assertion of control of foreign aid similar to the delay in support for Ukraine that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. State Department and Pentagon officials and lawmakers have been complaining about it for weeks, according to officials.

The $105 million in Foreign Military Funding for the Lebanese Armed Forces has languished for months, awaiting approval from the Office of Management and Budget. This is despite the congressional approval, an early September notification to lawmakers that it would be spent and overwhelming support for it from the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council.

John Bolton, former national security adviser to Donald Trump, has posted a couple of cryptic messages on Twitter this morning.

Bolton’s name has come up often recently during the House impeachment inquiry. Yesterday Fiona Hill, a former national security official, said Bolton had described Rudy Giuliani as a “hand grenade that was going to blow everyone up”.

The accounts of Hill and others have put Bolton at the center of the controversy, and have intensified calls for him to come forward and give his version of events.

Before today Bolton’s most recent tweet was on September 10, when he said he had offered his resignation to Trump. Trump later claimed he had fired Bolton.

Glad to be back on Twitter after more than two months. For the backstory, stay tuned........

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) November 22, 2019

We have now liberated the Twitter account, previously suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation as National Security Advisor. More to come.....

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) November 22, 2019

Earlier this month Bolton’s lawyer said the former adviser has “personal knowledge” of meetings and conversations “that have not yet been discussed in testimonies thus far”. Bolton is reportedly refusing to testify until a judge rules in a case between the House committees and the Trump administration.

Bolton signed a book deal – reportedly worth $2m – after leaving the White House. As yet there is no release date.


Stephen Miller: immigration would 'decimate' America

The under-fire White House adviser Stephen Miller said in a 2016 radio interview that immigration could see America lose its sovereignty and be “decimated”, echoing racist and white nationalist themes at the heart of a current scandal that has seen growing demands for him to resign.

In the 17-minute radio interview with Breitbart in February of that year, Miller claimed that Obama-era trade and immigration policies, which had bipartisan support, would “decimate” the US, give amnesty to dangerous immigrants, and end US sovereignty.

Miller claimed “the sovereign powers of the United States have been bled away” in the interview with Breitbart’s then executive chairman, Steve Bannon.

Stephen Miller.
Stephen Miller. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Miller’s extreme language in public is under renewed scrutiny following a series of reports by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that revealed how leaked emails showed the White House aide espousing white nationalist views and injecting that agenda into Breitbart.

More than 80 members of Congress, 55 civil rights groups and Democratic presidential candidates have demanded Miller resign in response to the leaked emails.

President Donald Trump is still promoting the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

Trump’s evidence-free claim came a day after former White House security adviser Fiona Hill called the Ukraine interference theory a “fictional narrative”. Here’s the clip:

"This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
-Fiona Hill, yesterday

— Seth Masket (@smotus) November 22, 2019


Barack Obama has warned Democrats against adopting “purity tests” in the primary race, saying the party needs to be able to appeal to a wide range of voters.

Speaking at a question-and-answer session with DNC chair Tom Perez in California, Obama said:

“We will not win just by increasing the turnout of the people who already agree with us completely on everything.”

He added: “Which is why I am always suspicious of purity tests during elections. Because, you know what, the country is complicated.”

Obama praised the historic diversity of the Democratic field – which includes five women, and has three black candidates, a Latino man, an Asian-American man and a gay man.

He compared that to his own election as the nation’s first black president.

“We have a number of women candidates and we have one gay candidate. And those candidates are going to have barriers if they win the nomination, or they win the general election just like I did,” Obama said.

“You can overcome that resistance if the way you are framing these issues and messages indicate: ‘Look, I’m part of an American tradition ... of opening up opportunity.”

Trump: 'I want a trial'

Another extraordinary moment: Trump insisting that he wants to go on trial – ie he wants to be impeached.

The president complained that Republicans couldn’t call witnesses during the House impeachment hearings, and suggested a trial would enable him to quiz the whistleblower and House intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff.

“We wanna call the whistleblower. But you know who I want as the first witness, because frankly, I want a trial,” Trump said.

“You want a trial?” Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade asked incredulously.

“Oh I would ...” Trump said, before trailing off and then beginning an attack on Schiff.

Here’s the clip:

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.

— Grant Stern (@grantstern) November 22, 2019


Trump attacks Marie Yovanovitch

Well that interview was unusual. Even by Trump’s standards. The president actually sounded quite tired at the beginning, but whipped himself up pretty quickly as he rattled through a range of topics.

One thing Trump was particularly animated about was Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine.

Government officials have lined up to praise Yovanovitch, who Trump recalled from her role, over the past two weeks. But to Trump’s mind, she was simply benefitting from sexism.

Trump goes after Marie Yovanovitch, who has served presidents in both parties for decades: "She's an Obama person. I said 'why are you being so kind?' 'Well, sir, she's a woman. We have to be nice.'"

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 22, 2019

Trump was particularly upset about Yovanovitch allegedly taking too long to hang his picture up in the US embassy. He mentioned it (at least) three times:

Trump on Yovanovitch: "She wouldn't hang my picture in the embassy. She is in charge of the embassy. She wouldn't hang it. It look a year-and-a-half, two years to get the picture up. She said bad things about me ... This was not an angel this woman, okay?"

— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 22, 2019

Trump attacked Yovanovitch on Twitter as she was giving testimony last week. Speaking about Trump’s smears against her Yovanovitch told the House intelligence committee: “the effect is intimidating”.

Good morning, and welcome to live coverage of today’s political news.

Donald Trump has had quite a morning of it already. The president called into Fox & Friends for an extraordinary, at times bizarre, 55-minute interview during which Trump:

•Reiterated the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election

•Said his own EU ambassador’s sworn testimony was “total nonsense”

•Called Nancy Pelosi “crazy as a bedbug”

•Suggested he wanted to be impeached, saying: “I want a trial”

•Complained that former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch took too long to hang his picture in the Ukraine embassy

•Said people praised Yovanovitch – a highly regarded official – because “she’s a woman, you have to be nice”

•Described Rudy Giuliani as “one of the great crime fighters of all time”

The Fox & Friends hosts were largely bystanders during what effectively became a Trump monologue.

Trump sounded slightly hoarse as he ran through some of his greatest hits: his 2016 election victory, how much he has invested in the military and the highly dubious claim that “no one” has done as much during their first term.

We’ll get some video clips up shortly. It really was something to behold.

In other political news ... the Democratic candidates are fanned out around the key primary states today – no rest for the wicked, etc. Each of them will be out hassling potential voters in their own unique ways.

Iowans can look out for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, while those in New Hampshire are treated to Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker, Bill Weld and Amy Klobuchar.

Andrew Yang, and presumably his Gang, is in South Carolina; Marianne Williamson, who apparently is still running, is in Arkansas for some reason; and Joe Walsh, ploughing a lonely furrow in his Republican primary bid against Trump, is in Texas.



Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco (now), Joan E Greve Washington (earlier) and Adam Gabbatt in New York (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Democrats release Trump impeachment resolution outlining next steps – as it happened
House intelligence committee will take the lead on planning public hearings as the inquiry advances

Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco (now) and Joan E Greve in Washington (earlier)

30, Oct, 2019 @12:01 AM

Article image
Trump impeachment inquiry: key testimony finally begins despite Republican sit-in – as it happened
Laura Cooper’s testimony for House Democrats underway after protest delayed her appearance by more than five hours

Maanvi Singh in San Francisco (now) and Joan E Greve in Washington (earlier)

24, Oct, 2019 @12:37 AM

Article image
Trump lashes out as impeachment inquiry announced – as it happened
Speaker condemns Trump’s ‘betrayal’ and confirms House of Representatives to begin impeachment inquiry over Ukraine scandal – follow live

Maanvi Singh in San Francisco (now) and Joan E Greve in Washington (earlier)

25, Sep, 2019 @1:57 AM

Article image
Impeachment hearings: Sondland was ‘involved in domestic political errand’, Hill testifies – as it happened
Russia expert says she ‘had a couple testy encounters’ with Sondland and warned him ‘this is going to blow up’

Maanvi Singh in San Francisco (now) and Tom McCarthy in New York (earlier)

22, Nov, 2019 @12:49 AM

Article image
Democrats say impeachment case 'has been proved' as they make final pitch – as it happened
Recording released as House impeachment managers finish presenting their opening arguments Friday – follow live updates

Vivian Ho in San Francisco (now) and Joan E Greve in Washington (previously)

25, Jan, 2020 @4:13 AM

Article image
Trump's EU envoy Gordon Sondland accused of sexual misconduct – as it happened
Sondland, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry, is alleged to have retaliated against three women after they rejected his advances

Maanvi Singh in San Francisco (now) and Joan E Greve in Washington (earlier)

28, Nov, 2019 @12:50 AM

Article image
Don McGahn: former White House counsel must testify, judge rules – as it happened
Federal judge rules McGahn must testify to House judiciary committee, putting pressure on other Trump officials tied to impeachment inquiry

Lois Beckett in San Francisco (now) and Joan E Greve in Washington (earlier)

26, Nov, 2019 @1:14 AM

Article image
Congress certifies Biden as next US president – as it happened
Four dead in unrest after pro-Trump mob storms Capitol

Tom McCarthy, Vivian Ho in San Francisco and Joan E Greve in Washington

07, Jan, 2021 @11:24 AM

Article image
Trump acknowledges 'new administration' – as it happened
This blog is now closed. You can read our main story on the day’s events below:

Helen Sullivan (now) with Julia Carrie Wong ,Joan E Greve and Martin Belam (earlier)

08, Jan, 2021 @6:49 AM

Article image
Biden and Harris release first public schedule as they begin transition – as it happened
President-elect and vice president-elect moving forward with process even as Trump refuses to concede and spreads misinformation

Martin Belam (now), Tom McCarthy, Sam Levin,Tom Lutz, Oliver Holmes and Martin Belam (earlier)

09, Nov, 2020 @9:42 AM