As the Senate opened an impeachment trial against him, President Donald Trump tried Tuesday to ignore the topic and instead brag about the economy during a day-long global forum.
Of course, he also tweeted.
"READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!" Trump announced toward the end of the day at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, capping hours of events in which he sought to focus on the job of the presidency and the economy.
"America is thriving, America is flourishing, and, yes, America is winning again like never before," Trump said during a campaign-style speech during a morning session at Davos.
Throughout a series of later meetings, the president declined to engage reporters about the impeachment trial. At a session with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Trump refused to say whether he wants his legal team to seek a quick dismissal of the impeachment charges.
"That whole thing is a total hoax," Trump said, "so I'm sure it's going to work out fine."
Trump did not plan to watch the Senate trial while in Switzerland, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said: "He has a full day here in Davos, but will be briefed by staff periodically."
Instead,Trump used his Davos events to promote his presidential record, especially on the economy.
In his formal speech, Trump proclaimed that "the American dream is back" and play up statistics like the low unemployment rate, now at 3.5%. The president focused on what he called an "economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen before."
Trump's speech came hours before senators took up a debate over the rules for the Senate impeachment trial.
At the end of the day, as lawyers for the prosecution and defense addressed the Senate, Trump hosted a dinner for members of the American delegation and global chief executive officers.
The White House described the dinner as "an opportunity to discuss America’s thriving economy and highlight the sustained economic expansion that is possible when companies invest in American companies and its workforce."
The House impeached Trump on Dec. 18 on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring Ukraine into investigating a domestic political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while withholding aid from the country.
Trump impeachment trial: What to expect as the Senate trial resumes
The president's other meetings at Davos on Tuesday featured the leaders of the World Economic Forum, Switzerland and Pakistan. Trump also attended a reception hosted by the International Business Council as well as the dinner with corporate executives.
At his session with von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, Trump said, "We’re going to talk about a good trade deal" with Europe.
In his speech, Trump said he has rescued the global economy from recession and saved historic black colleges and universities from bankruptcy. Both of those claims have been disputed by economists who cited a number of factors for the improved economy worldwide.
Critics said Trump's economic policies are leaving too many people behind, particularly the poor and middle class.
"With his billionaire friends in Davos, Trump claims 'America's extraordinary prosperity,'" tweeted Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Meanwhile, income and wealth inequality explodes, half our people live paycheck to paycheck, and more than 500,000 are homeless. We need 'extraordinary prosperity' for workers, not the 1%."
Touting his record, Trump cited tax cuts, regulation reductions, immigration changes, and new trade deals involving China, Canada and Mexico. At times, his rhetoric echoed his 2020 reelection campaign speeches, including attacks on "radical socialists" who threaten economic growth.
Trump also repeated his criticism of the U.S. Federal Reserve, saying it "has raised rates too fast and lowered them too slowly."
Marking its 50th anniversary, the World Economic Forum made climate change its major topic at this year's meeting.
Trump, who has described climate change as a hoax, said little about the topic at his speech. He did express optimism about the environment as well as the economy and denounced "the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse."
After his speech, Trump said he was trying to reach business leaders who might be interested in the United States.
"We had 200 of the biggest companies, plus numerous leaders of different countries," Trump said. "Many of those people will be coming to make investments in a very large number."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump in Davos: President touts economy as impeachment trial opens