President Donald Trump said the House impeachment effort had "energized my base like I've never seen before" and would "backfire" against the Democrats, putting him back in the White House next year.
"I think [impeachment is] a very dirty word, it's a word that I can't believe that the do-nothing Democrats are trying to pin on me — and it's a disgrace," Trump said Thursday in an 80-minute interview with The Washington Examiner's editors and reporters.
The president was interviewed in the Oval Office hours after the House voted 232-196 to formalize its impeachment inquiry.
"I think it's going to backfire on them," Trump said.
"I did nothing wrong — and for them to do this is a disgrace," the president added. "To me, the word impeachment's a very ugly word."
President Trump claimed that the impeachment process was being spurned by voters in primary battleground states and that his overall poll numbers remained strong.
"My poll numbers are very good," he said. "They always like to talk about my poll numbers. You know, they're very good."
However, the current FiveThirtyEight average of public opinion polls show 48.1% of Americans leaning toward impeachment versus 44.3% who are not.
In addition, the Real Clear Politics average of Trump's job approval is at 42.5%, compared with a 54.2% disapproval rating.
"My base is much bigger than people think," the president said. "But I think I go way beyond my base."
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