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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs for travel to Georgia from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 8, 2019. Photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

How Trump is responding to the 1st public impeachment hearing

President Donald Trump is calling the public impeachment hearings that kicked off Wednesday the “single greatest scam in the history of American politics.”

Trump is responding to the hearings with a new video directed at his supporters and released by the White House.

Trump says in the video filmed in the White House Rose Garden that Democrats want to take away his viewers’ guns, health care, freedom and votes.

He adds that, “They’re trying to stop me because I’m fighting for you. And I’ll never let that happen.”

The president’s chief spokeswoman, though, said Trump isn’t watching the public House impeachment hearings against him. Stephanie Grisham told reporters by email that Trump is participating in meetings in the Oval Office.

She writes: “Not watching. He’s working.”

Trump is scheduled around noon to receive Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for meetings, including a separate gathering with senators invited by the White House. Trump and Erdogan are also slated to hold a joint news conference at the White House.

Prior to the testimony, Trump lashed out the pair of witnesses who were set to testify.

Trump tweeted “NEVER TRUMPERS!” before Wednesday’s hearing opened on Capitol Hill with testimony from William Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, a career diplomat. Trump sought to undermine Kent and Taylor with the tweet suggesting they are among members of the foreign policy establishment that never supported him.

Taylor and Kent worked for Republican and Democratic administrations. There’s no evidence they engaged in partisan activity opposing Trump.

READ MORE: Guide to the impeachment hearings

The impeachment inquiry centers around a July 25 telephone call Trump had with Ukraine’s leader and Trump’s attempt to pressure the government to investigate his political rivals.

Trump maintains that the telephone conversation was “perfect” and that he did nothing wrong in his relations with Ukraine.

The Republican president also tweeted Wednesday: “READ THE TRANSCRIPT!”

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