Trump impeachment news: Pressure to start Senate trial as worldwide survey reveals lack of confidence in president

Joe Sommerlad, Alex Woodward
US president Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Oval Office on 7 January 2020: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Donald Trump has told reporters at the White House that John Bolton, his former national security advisor and a potential key witness at his upcoming Senate impeachment trial, “knows nothing” about the Ukraine quid pro quo scandal, an apparent attempt to dismiss the significance of any testimony he might give before Congress.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell has said he is prepared to push on with the trial without having first agreed a deal on new witnesses and evidence with opposition Democrats, as House speaker Nancy Pelosi urges him to publish a resolution outlining the rules of engagement “immediately”.

After the Iran crisis deepened with the bombing of two US military bases in Iraq overnight, the president was ridiculed for seeking to reassure Americans by tweeting “All is well!” before making a statement declaring the country is now “standing down” but would face punishment through new economic sanctions rather than via military conflict.

During a brief address from the White House, the president made vague claims that General Qassem Soleimani planned "new attacks on American targets" before his killing. He also threatened new sanctions and repeated false claims that the Obama administration had paid for Iranian missiles in recent attacks.

Meanwhile, members of Congress heard from the administration about its justification for military strikes in Iran.

House Speaker Pelosi intends to introduce a resolution this week to prevent further military action from the president

Follow along with live coverage as it happened: