A not-so-jolly President Donald Trump is leaving his Christmas shopping for the last minute.
The commander in chief admitted during a video conference with U.S. troops today that he hadn’t yet gotten his wife a present before going on an angry tirade against Democrats, federal law enforcement officials and the impeachment process.
Trump — who intermittently boasts that people are saying “merry Christmas again” thanks to him — appeared a bit taken aback when a deployed intelligence analyst asked what he had gotten first lady Melania Trump.
“That’s a tough question,” the president said, prompting laughs from the service members on the other end of the line.
“I really should say ‘a very beautiful card,’” he offered, drawing more laughs.
“I picked the nicest one,” he continued. “A lot of love, we love our family and we love each other and we’ve had a great relationship, like you do — hopefully — with your spouses. … I’ll answer that by saying I’m still working on her Christmas present, is that OK? There’s a little time left.”
Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump closed out the call by thanking the troops for their service before turning his attention to the political mudslinging enveloping the nation’s capital.
“She hates the Republican Party. She hates all of the people that voted for me and the Republican Party,” Trump told reporters of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is holding off on sending the House-approved articles of impeachment to the Senate in bid to secure assurances that the trial will be fair.
“She’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country,” he added.
The president was asked whether he has any plans to pardon Roger Stone, his longtime political confidant who was convicted last month of federal crimes uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russia’s pro-Trump attack on the 2016 election.
“He’s a good person and what they did to him was very unfair,” Trump said of Stone, avoiding answering the question directly.
Trump also derided the FBI and other law enforcement agencies that investigated the Kremlin’s systematic interference in the last presidential contest.
“These are evil people,” he said. “We have no place in our country for people like that.”
Trump’s comments come at an increasingly perilous time in his presidency.
Democrats are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow witnesses to be called at Trump’s impeachment trial, which is expected to get underway next month.
Led by Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democrats are asking for testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and two other administration officials who refused to testify in the House impeachment inquiry.
McConnell, who wants to quickly acquit Trump of both articles of impeachment, has not answered one way or another whether he’s going to allow witnesses, although he said Monday he hasn’t completely “ruled out” the possibility.
Trump, just the third president in American history to have been impeached, has responded with anger, unleashing dozens of tweets daily attacking Democrats and other perceived political enemies.
Wrapping up today’s anti-impeachment rant, Trump offered the assembled reporters some holiday greetings.
“Have a good time, everybody,” he said. “Merry Christmas.”