The major broadcast networks and cable news outlets interrupted regular programming to air President Trump’s press conference live at the United Nations on Wednesday, the first since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal inquiry into impeachment proceedings the day before.
ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations, as well as MSNBC, CNN and Fox News, tuned into the conference, during which Trump meanderingly addressed the scandal surrounding his July 25 call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky.
When asked why the American people should be comfortable with an American president asking a foreign leader for information about an American citizen, Trump quickly diverted into a lengthy tangent about the 2016 election, recalling his electoral collegiate victory over political opponent Hillary Clinton.
“When you run a race, if you go by the electoral college, that’s a much different race than by the popular vote,” he told reporters. “It’s like the 100-yard dash or the mile. You train differently. And I can’t help it that my opponent didn’t go to Wisconsin and should’ve gone much more to Michigan and Pennsylvania and other places, but that’s the way it is. We won an election convincingly, and then you had the text message on, ‘Well, if she doesn’t win, we’ve got an insurance policy.’ How bad was that? You know what the insurance policy was sort of what has been taking place over the last number of years, the insurance policy.”
Separately during the broadcast, MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace cut into the live press conference to fact check Trump’s remarks.
“The president isn’t telling the truth,” she said on air. “These allegations against Joe Biden and Hunter Biden that he’s repeating have been investigated by the Ukrainians.” She added that the Wall Street Journal had covered the topic on Friday, and that the Ukrainians view the issue and having been investigated and adjudicated. And what’s amazing is what Trump appears to be trying to do is to turn his own impeachment into a big deflection.”
Earlier Wednesday, the White House released a transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky, in which Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.