President Trump said he’d be willing to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the World Economic Forum, which could create an awkward splitscreen as the Senate begins his impeachment trial back home.
‘I think he’s a really great guy,’ Trump told the Wall Street Journal in a sit-down with the paper during the Davos, Switzerland summit. ‘I didn’t know he was here. I don’t think we had it planned.’
Trump didn’t have it planned as the White House sent out his meeting schedule Monday night in advance of his first Davos appearance and Zelensky’s name was not on it.
Zelensky is a central character in the impeachment.
The Democrat-led House of Representatives impeached Trump on December 18 over a pressure campaign to have Zelensky announce he was investigating Joe and Hunter Biden.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is a top 2020 Democratic hopefuls.
The Trump White House is accused of holding up nearly $400 million in military aid in Ukraine in a push to have Zelensky announce the Biden investigation and one into the origins of the 2016 Russia probe.
The scheme was uncovered when a whistleblower reported on Trump’s actions during a July 25 phone conversation with Zelensky.
Since then, Trump has continued to describe it as a ‘perfect call.’
He met with Zelensky previously on the sidelines of September’s United Nations General Assembly in New York.
On Tuesday at Davos, Trump tried to avoid impeachment-related questions.
Upon entering the main venue at the World Economic Forum, the Congress Centre, Trump gave his usual answer about impeachment proceedings, calling them a ‘witchhunt.’
During his speech he stuck to praising the American economy under his leadership and mocking climate change activists like Swedish teen Greta Thunberg who are dominating the conversation at Davos.
And during his Tuesday afternoon meetings with leaders, he also brushed off questions about the Senate trial.
Trump will attend an early dinner with leaders at the conference and then is expected to turn in at his hotel by 8 p.m. Tuesday night.
WIth the six-hour time difference, however, that means Trump could settle in during peak viewing hours and live-tweet the beginning of the trial.