ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Maryland - U.S. President Donald Trump, contrary to reports, insists he wants his impeachment hearings public.
Asked on Saturday before boarding Air Force One for a trip to watch the Alabama-LSU game why he wanted the hearings held behind closed doors, the responded: "No, no. I don't care if they're public; they should be public. What I said, it was misreported, as usual. What I said is very simple: There shouldn't be anything. There shouldn't be impeachment hearings, is what I said. So maybe they misconstrued it."
"But what I say is: Read the transcript. It's all about the transcript. They're having people - I never even heard of some of these people; I don't know who they are. And, by the way, it's all third-hand knowledge. But regardless of what anyone says, read the transcript," the president said.
Mr Trump went on to say he would release the transcript of a second call on Tuesday.
"Now, they want to have a transcript of the other call, the second call. And I'm willing to provide that. We'll probably give it to you on Tuesday. Monday being a holiday, we'll probably give it to you on Tuesday. But we have another transcript coming out, which is very important. They asked for it, and I gladly give it. There's never been a president who's been so transparent. This is a witch hunt at the highest level, and it's so bad for our country."
"But here's the deal: Read the transcript. You'll see the call. Now I'll give you a second transcript, because I actually had two calls with the president of Ukraine. So you'll read the second call and you'll tell me if you think there's anything wrong with it. But never in history has anybody gone through this. It's a witch hunt, and it should never happen to another president," said Mr Trump.