AUSTIN (KXAN) — President Donald Trump told KXAN that “you have to believe what you hear” when it comes to the impeachment inquiry during his visit to Austin on Wednesday.
In an exclusive interview with KXAN’s Phil Prazan, the president gave his verdict on Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s appearance at the inquiry Wednesday morning.
Trump was visiting Austin to tour an Apple manufacturing facility, Flex, where the company is creating its new line of Mac Pro computers.
The president on impeachment
Earlier in the day, Ambassador Sondland connected Trump directly to the quid pro quo, stating that “everyone was in the loop” — a statement that implicated White House officials and top officials like Chief of Staff Mulvaney and Secretary of State Pompeo.
But the president told KXAN that Ambassador Sondland, who he described as the “star witness” in the inquiry, turned out to be a “disaster.” After the impeachment inquiry began Sondland described a phone call between himself and the President when the President told him he wanted nothing from the Ukraine.
Trump was asked who the public should trust when it comes to conflicting statements.
He replied “I think you have to believe what you hear, because frankly, this is the greatest hoax in American history in terms of politics. It’s a witch hunt, it’s been going on for more than three years, and today’s testimony was 100% for us.
“This was going to be their star witness, he turned out to be a disaster for them, and they know it, they’ve admitted it.
“What he said is there was no quid pro quo. He talked to me specifically, he said there is no quid pro quo, the president wanted nothing. I said I want nothing, zero, nothing. And that’s the way it is.”
The president on tariffs
Trump was also asked whether tariffs that would affect products made by Apple are likely to come into effect on December 15.
He said “It depends on what happens with China, if they make a deal. Right now China wants a deal much more than I do.
“Our country is doing better than we’ve ever done. It’s the largest economy in the world and now by far. When I came in, China was going to overtake us and quickly and it didn’t work out that way. We’ve really expanded a lot and they’ve contracted.
“We have a little ways to go. We’re taking in – it will soon be hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs, which we never did before. China never paid us 10 cents.
“The tariffs are being eaten by China because they’ve devalued their currency in order that we don’t have to pay because they’re going to lose their supply chains, which they’re already losing.
“It’s going very well for us. China wants to make a deal. We’ll see if we make it. It’s got to be a great deal for us.”
The president also said he was “glad” to be in Austin.
“I’m glad to be in Austin, I love the city, but I love the state of Texas,” he said.