Impeachment shadows Trump on trip to NATO leaders meeting

AP – United States (US) President Donald Trump kicks off a two-day whirlwind of meetings with NATO alliance members, but his focus appears to remain centred on the impeachment inquiry playing out at home.

Before departing for London to meet yesterday with other leaders from the 29-member alliance, Trump accused Democrats of trying to embarrass him by scheduling this week’s impeachment hearing while he’ll be abroad with NATO leaders.

Trump, who arrived in London late Monday, called the trip “one of the most important journeys that we make as president” before he departed Washington and said Democrats had long known about it.

He was back to lashing out at Democrats minutes after landing in London late Monday night, touting a Republican impeachment report calling Trump’s decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine “entirely prudent.”

Democrats contend that Trump abused presidential powers by holding up the aid to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

“Prior to landing I read the Republicans Report on the Impeachment Hoax. Great job! Radical Left has NO CASE,” Trump tweeted. “Read the Transcripts. Shouldn’t even be allowed. Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?” Trump’s trip comes amid ongoing quarrels over defence spending by NATO allies and widespread anxiety over the American president’s commitment to the alliance.

He has a busy schedule over these two days at the leaders’ conference, including scheduled one-on-one meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte. He’ll also attend tea with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall. Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted Trump and the other NATO leaders at back-to-back receptions yesterday evening.

US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump step off a plane. PHOTO: AP