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Trump warns on impeachment payback: 'You'll see'

Trump showed little sign of wanting to mend fences with the Democrats, saying there is "a lot of evil on that side.”
Image: President Trump Departs The White House For North Carolina Event
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters outside the White House on Feb. 7, 2020.Alex Wong / Getty Images

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By Shannon Pettypiece

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that his impeachment should be invalidated, and he gave an ominous warning when asked how he'll pay back those responsible, saying, "You'll see."

“Should they expunge the impeachment in the House? They should because it was a hoax,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing on Marine One.

When asked about his press secretary's comments that the president was suggesting in his remarks Thursday on impeachment that his Democratic political opponents "should be held accountable," Trump said, "Well, you'll see. I mean, we'll see what happens."

Trump showed little sign of wanting to mend fences with the Democrats, saying they suffer from “Trump derangement syndrome" and that there is "a lot of evil on that side.” When asked how he was going to unify the country following his divisive impeachment, Trump said he would do it by “great success.”

"Our country today is more successful than it has ever been, and that's unifying the country," he said.

He left open the possibility that the White House will dismiss Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, after he testified in Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Bloomberg News has reported that Vindman's removal was under consideration.

"Well, I'm not happy with him. Do you think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not," Trump said, adding, "They'll make that decision. You'll be hearing — they'll make a decision."

When asked if he considers the front-runners in the Democratic presidential primary a threat, Trump said, “Everybody's a threat. I view everybody as a threat.” But the president passed up the opportunity to attack any specific candidate, instead mocking Democrats for their delay in tabulating the results from the Iowa caucuses.

He also accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., of breaking the law by tearing up his State of the Union speech, an allegation that has been circulating in conservative media. Legal experts, however, dispute the notion that tearing up a copy of the president's speech amounts to destruction of an official government record.

When asked about Trump's suggestion that Republicans could expunge his impeachment if they regain control of the House, Pelosi said, "They can’t do that."

"First of all, they're not getting the chamber back," Pelosi said. "But apart from that, there’s no expunging. If they don’t want to honor their oath of office, then they’re going to expunge from their own souls the violation of the Constitution that they made.”

Pelosi also said when asked about the reports on Vindman that she was "stunned" by the possibility he could be ousted, adding that it "goes too far." Pelosi said she would talk to her colleagues about the issue, adding that they have some concern about Trump's interventions in military affairs.

Haley Talbot and Emma Thorne contributed.