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Trump Remains Defiant as House Pushes Toward Impeachment



Oval Office of the White House | Trump Remains Defiant as House Pushes Toward Impeachment | Featured
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump meet with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and his wife Mrs. Patricia Marroquin Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

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

The White House insisted  would be busy working rather than focused on the proceedings in the House, but  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!,”  wrote in one of 45 tweets posted before noon. He asked his followers to “Say a PRAYER!”

As members of the House debated the articles of impeachment,  urgency appeared to escalate as he switched to all capital letters: “SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!” he wrote.

For , 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  is indeed concerned about the stain the episode will leave on his legacy.

 is facing two articles of impeachment: The first charges  with abuse of power by pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate  Democratic rivals while crucial U.S. security aid was being withheld. The second charges him with obstruction of Congress for stonewalling investigative efforts.

While  had little on his public schedule Wednesday, he was planning his own counter-programming in the evening, holding what wasexpected to be a highly charged rally in the battleground state of Michigan.

Otherwise, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said,  will be “working all day” as the House takes up two articles of impeachment charging  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.

Vice President Mike Pence was in Michigan for a daylong bus tour before joining  at his Battle Creek rally. He called the expected votes a “disgrace” and said he marveled at the president’s resilience and his “determination to go forward.”

He also accused Democrats of “trying to impeach this president because they can’t defeat” him, predicting that  would once again carry the state, in part because of the energy generated by impeachment,

 campaign has experienced a surge in contributions and volunteers during the proceedings and was hoping to raise another $2 million Wednesday ahead of the votes.

, for his part, 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  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  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  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  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  will have plenty to say about the vote at his evening campaign rally in Battle Creek.

Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller contributed from Saginaw, Michigan.

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