President Trump on Monday lashed out at “crooked as hell” journalists while baselessly attacking former Vice President Joe Biden and his son as “corrupt.”
“I did not make a statement that you have to do this or I’m not going to give you aid,” Trump told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as he faced mounting scrutiny in the wake of reports that he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a July 24 phone call to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, over allegations of corruption.
“I wouldn’t do that. With that being said, what I want is I want — you know, we’re giving a lot of money away to Ukraine and other places. You want to see a country that’s going to be not corrupt,” Trump continued.
Trump later said it would “probably” have been appropriate if he did put pressure on Ukraine but again claimed that he did not pressure the country.
“I put no pressure on them whatsoever. I could have. I think it would probably, possibly have been OK if I did. But I didn’t. I didn’t put any pressure on them whatsoever,” Trump continued.
Trump acknowledged on Sunday that he had discussed Joe Biden on the call with Zelensky.
“Joe Biden was very dishonest what he did. What he did is he said if they don’t do this or that and get rid of a certain prosecutor. Joe Biden said it. But because you’re a faker, you in particular — you’re a fake news group of people — you don’t want to report that,” Trump told reporters Monday afternoon during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Trump also claimed a Republican who did the same would get “the electric chair.”
“If a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did, if a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they’d be getting the electric chair by right now,” Trump said.
“Look at the double standards. You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Not all of you. We have some great journalists around. But we’ve got a lot of crooked journalists,” Trump said, calling the reporters “crooked as hell.”
Seconds later, Trump told reporters: “Okay, thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed it.”
Trump screams that the media is "crooked as hell" and says a Republican would "get the electric chair" for what Biden has done, doesn't actually say what Biden has done but tries to cast aspersions. This is all occurring at the annual UN meeting. pic.twitter.com/TR0RSNkzMa
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) September 23, 2019
Responding to Trump’s “electric chair” remarks, the Washington Post’s Philip Bump tweeted: “This is a new level.”
This is a new level. https://t.co/VWzSa4w08W
— Philip Bump (@pbump) September 23, 2019
Vos’s David Roberts tweeted: “Congrats if “obliquely call for the death of your political opponents” was next on your fascism bingo card.”
Congrats if "obliquely call for the death of your political opponents" was next on your fascism bingo card. https://t.co/tUI8ddX1oP
— David Roberts (@drvox) September 23, 2019
In which the President of the United States comes dangerously close to calling for the execution of a political opponent. It's incredibly sad to see how far things have come. I doubt there will be any consequences for Trump, but this really feels like a new low. https://t.co/CIX3O15jXt
— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) September 23, 2019
Trump ends his remarks with this whiplash-inducing combo: “You’ve got a lot of crooked journalists. You’re crooked as hell." One second later: "Okay, thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed it.” https://t.co/BcKTrrEOtO
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) September 23, 2019