When the public phase of the impeachment hearings began on Capitol Hill at 10 a.m. Wednesday, President Donald Trump was at the White House, where, according to press secretary Stephanie Grisham, he was too busy with work to watch the proceedings.
Was he busy? Maybe. Whether he was working depends on your definition of work. Based on the absence of a Marine at the door, Trump wasn’t actually in the West Wing:
There was also a flurry of posts on the president’s Twitter account during the first hours of the inquiry, many of them featuring video clips of his congressional allies defending him, suggesting perhaps he was indeed keeping an eye on the proceedings.
All told, Trump’s account managed to retweet nearly two dozen posts during the hearing Wednesday morning.
From noon to 3:10 p.m. Eastern time, Trump was scheduled to welcome and meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. In that time, among other things, the two agreed to keep Syria’s oil and held a limited press conference in the Oval Office:
When Trump suggested Erdogan address Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, he awkwardly declined:
After the first photo opportunity, Trump invited Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) to meet with Erdogan, prompting Grisham to again talk about how busy the president was:
And yet another photo opportunity:
At 3:10, Trump and Erdogan held a larger press conference, at which Trump singled out Emerald Robinson of the One America News Network for a friendly question.
Asked for his “general reaction to the impeachment hearings,” Trump responded:
“Are you talking about the witch hunt? I haven’t watched. I haven’t watched one minute. This is a sham, and it shouldn’t be allowed. It was a situation that was caused by people who shouldn’t have allowed it to happen.”