Trump Says He'd Like to Have Bolton, Mulvaney, Others Testify, But It's a 'National Security Problem'

By Susan Jones | January 22, 2020 | 7:32am EST
(Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

( - President Donald Trump, at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland early Wednesday morning (our time), told reporters he wouldn't mind having the Senate call John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, and Rick Perry as witnesses.

But that could pose a "national security problem," he said.

A reporter asked President Trump if he would prefer a short impeachment trial or a "thorough examination of the facts. Are you absolutely against John Bolton testifying?" he asked the president:

"I would rather go the long way. I would rather interview Bolton. I would rather interview a lot of people," Trump responded:

The problem with John is that it's a national security problem. You know, you can't have somebody who's in national security. And if you think about it, John, he knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it's not very positive and then I have to deal on behalf of the country. It's going to be very hard, it's going to make the job very hard.

He knows other things. And I don't know if we left on the best of terms. I would say probably not. You know. And so you don't like people testifying when they didn't leave on good terms. And that was due to me. Not due to him. So we'll see what happens.

Trump said whatever you want to call it -- presidential prerogative, national security, or executive privilege -- John Bolton "would certainly fit into that."

"I have actually gotten along with John Bolton. He didn't get along with other people. A lot of other people," Trump continued:

But when he knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments and we are talking about massive trade deals and war and peace and all these different things that we talk about, that's really a very important national security problem, I think, having somebody.

Other people, Mick Mulvaney is probably around here some place. I would love to have Mick go. But I think that he's really expressed himself very well when he did a Chris Wallace interview. That was a very, very powerful interview. That was a long, tough -- Chris is a very tough interviewer. A very talented guy. And, you know, I think there 's not much he can add. He's been great.

Trump also said he would like to have secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry testify.

But with Pompeo, he said, "Again, that's a national security problem."

As for Perry, "He knows this is all a hoax," Trump said. "He would love to testify. But we are dealing with national security. We're dealing with one other thing," Trump said:

"Our country has been tied up with this hoax from the day I came down the escalator. We've been fighting it, I've been fighting it from the day I've been elected. I would say probably long before. It could be long before I came down the escalator..."

Trump repeated that when it comes to the Senate trial, "Personally, I would rather go the long route. It's horrible for our country. Our country has to get back to business."

Another reporter asked the president if he plans to "show up at your trial."

"I would love to go. Wouldn't that be great," Trump responded.

"I would love to sit in the front row and stare at their corrupt faces. Don't keep talking because you may convince me to do it," he joked. Trump added that his lawyers "might have a problem" with Trump showing up at the trial.


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