As reported by WashingtonExaminer
First came the diplomacy, the gentle celebration in the grand White House East Room of close ties with Finland in honor of the day’s guest. Then came the questions about the whistleblower, impeachment proceedings, and subpoenas.
“It’s a whole hoax, and you know who’s playing into the hoax? People like you and the fake news media,” said President Trump, voice raised as he tried to shut down the freewheeling press conference. “And I say in many cases the corrupt media, because you’re corrupt.”
He paused and pointed to his guest, who had stood silently beside him for almost 15 minutes.
“Ask the president of Finland a question,” he said, before wading in to answer the next question on free trade himself.
It marked a stark contrast to his most recent press conference, a muted affair on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week. Then Trump cut a sober figure as he rounded off an exhausting three days of meetings and speeches.
But the whistleblower story has not gone away, and this time he deployed his full range of emotions, from weary resignation to righteous indignation, and then red-faced fury. For 40 blistering minutes, he threatened legal action against his accusers, dismissed the Bidens as “stone cold crooked,” and vented against reporters who wanted their questions answered.
He cast allegations that he sought foreign help in collecting dirt on Joe Biden as nothing but the latest in a plot to discredit him that began with the Mueller investigation.
“I probably will be bringing a lot of litigation against a lot of people having to do with the corruption investigation having to do with the 2016 election,” he said.
He did not elaborate, but his administration is currently investigating the origins of the Mueller investigation.
Minutes later the president had a chance to gloat. He was asked about a breaking story in the New York Times claiming that the whistleblower at the heart of the probe had discussed his complaint with a congressional aide who then passed on the details to Adam Schiff, the committee chairman now leading the House of Representatives’ impeachment investigation
“I love that question. It shows that Schiff is a fraud,” said Trump. “I think it’s a scandal that he knew before. I’d go a step further: I think he probably helped write it.”
Beside him, Sauli Niinistö lowered his eyes, looking for all the world as if he was wishing he had asked to stand behind a bigger lectern.
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