Donald Trump called moves to impeach him in Congress for a second time “absolutely ridiculous” in his first public appearance since the deadly riots on Capitol Hill last week.
Mr Trump said his likely impeachment in the House of Representatives on Wednesday was causing “tremendous anger” among voters as he left the White house for a trip to Texas.
It is the first time Mr Trump has taken questions from reporters since a violent mob swarmed the Capitol last week after the US president urged supporters to “fight like hell” against the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in Congress.
Mr Trump insisted his words were perfectly appropriate and did not respond when asked if he planned to resign. “I want no violence,” he said.
Speaking as he boarded Marine One at the White House, Mr Trump called the second impeachment proceedings a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”
It comes after Mike Pence, the US vice president, met with Mr Trump on Monday for the first time since rioters stormed the US Capitol last week, signaling a united front as Democratic efforts to impeach Trump gain momentum.
First, the House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on a longshot bid to get Mr Pence and the cabinet to invoke the US Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which would declare Trump unfit to perform his duties and install Mr Pence as acting president. Democrats will then follow up with impeachment proceedings, including a House vote expected Wednesday.