US President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Winfield House, London on December 3, 2019.
NICHOLAS KAMM | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump angrily hit out at Democrats on Tuesday, sharply criticizing both the ongoing impeachment inquiry and calls for U.S. lawmakers to consider a vote to censure him.
Sitting alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in London on Tuesday morning, Trump described the now infamous call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “flawless” and repeatedly claimed he had done “nothing wrong.”
Trump has joined other world leaders in the U.K.’s capital city to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO.
Taking questions shortly after a bilateral meeting with Stoltenberg, one reporter asked whether he had heard about speculation suggesting U.S. lawmakers could consider pursuing censure over impeachment, Trump replied: “Unacceptable.”
“I wouldn’t be happy with that at all, no. To me, it is unacceptable. I did nothing wrong. You don’t censure somebody when they did nothing wrong. They are in search of a crime,” Trump said, appearing to refer to House Democrats.
What is censure?
Less severe than expulsion, the U.S. Senate describes censure as “a formal statement of disapproval.”
Several op-eds in recent weeks have called on U.S. lawmakers to consider pursuing censure over impeachment, with many arguing that a bipartisan rebuke of the U.S. president would be a better option.
Censure is not currently being pursued by U.S. lawmakers.
Instead, a Democratic-led inquiry is trying to determine whether Trump improperly put pressure on Ukraine to force the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. The alleged pressure campaign came while Trump was withholding congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine.
“Not only wasn’t there a crime, it is not even a word that should be used,” Trump continued.
“I had a very, very good conversation with the head of Ukraine. And, by the way, yesterday, he came out again and reaffirmed again that we had a very, very respectful, good conversation that President Trump did nothing wrong.”
“He doesn’t even really understand what’s going on over here. They look at us like: ‘Is this country crazy?'”
“The Democrats have gone nuts, they’re crazy. And it is very bad for our country,” Trump said.
Should Congress vote to censure Trump, it would make him only the second president in history to be explicitly reprimanded. In 1834, President Andrew Jackson was censured by the Senate in a fight over the survival of the Bank of the United States.