Notes in hand, Trump states his case about impeachment

U.S. President Donald Trump holds what appears to be a prepared statement and handwritten notes after watching testimony by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland as he speaks to reporters prior to departing for travel to Austin, Texas from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Sometimes it helps for a president to have notes.

President Donald Trump engaged with journalists on Wednesday as he regularly does when he departs the White House at the start of a trip, only this time he had some help with what he wanted to say.

Walking before assembled journalists, the president held a small stack of papers, including handwritten notes in thick black ink and mostly all caps, which he read aloud to reinforce his position that he did not seek favours from Ukraine earlier this year.

“I WANT NOTHING,” he read from stationery marked ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE in notes captured by photographers. “I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO.”

Usually the president exits the White House without papers or paraphernalia in his hands.

Trump focussed his words on comments by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony in congressional impeachment hearings about a conversation the two men had in which Trump told him he wanted nothing from Ukraine.

Once the president finished reading his papers, he did not stay to engage with reporters as he often does. Notes in hand, he proceeded to his noisy, waiting presidential helicopter Marine One and took off.