Donald Trump claims markets will “crash” if he is impeached over alleged wrongdoing in the 2016 election campaign.
Asked by Fox And Friends if he thought he would be impeached, the president said: “I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job.
“I will tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash.
“I think everybody would be very poor, because without this thinking, you would see – you would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse.”
His comments came amid speculation the president could be impeached after his former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted in court on Tuesday to paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and a model to influence the 2016 election.
At the same time, Mr Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was found guilty of eight out of 18 charges relating to financial crime.
Cohen said he paid the hush money at the direction of his “candidate”.
His own lawyers have said he is “more than happy” to share everything he knows about Mr Trump to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into alleged collusion between the Trump team and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
As the president tried to gain some control in possibly his worst week in office, he told Fox And Friends he learned about the hush payments “later on” and added “they didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me”.
Distancing himself from Cohen, he called him a “part-time attorney”.
The president added that he thinks it should be illegal for people facing prosecution to co-operate with the government for a reduced sentence – which is what Cohen did to get a potential 80-year sentence reduced to a maximum of five.
He accused his former lawyer of implicating him to get a better deal, saying Cohen “makes a better deal when he uses me”.
Mr Trump said people who decide to cooperate with the government – which is called flipping – “make up stories” and “just make up lies”.
“It’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal,” he said. “It’s not a fair thing.”
Reacting to Manafort’s guilty plea on Thursday, Mr Trump said he was “very sad” for his former campaign chair.
“This has nothing to do with Russian collusion… This is a witch-hunt and a disgrace,” the president said.
He was warned by US senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the senate intelligence committee, that pardoning Manafort would be “a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by congress”.
The president has also sparked anger in South Africa after he tweeted on Thursday that his administration would be looking into farm seizures and the “large-scale killing of farmers” in the country.
South Africa’s government said this was “false information” and reflected a “narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past”.
Government officials will meet with the US embassy in Pretoria on Thursday to seek clarification on Mr Trump’s remarks.
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