DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump unleashed on Democrats and the media in a wide-ranging news conference on Wednesday before leaving Davos to return to Washington, where his impeachment trial is underway in the Senate, claiming that he would prefer a long trial with witnesses but national security issues made that impossible.
A day earlier, Mr. Trump managed to stick to a script about a strong United States economy while addressing a global audience at the World Economic Forum, and he largely swatted away any questions about the trial. But before leaving Switzerland on Wednesday he called a last-minute news conference, during which he vented at length about his political enemies in Washington.
Mr. Trump called Representative Jerry Nadler of New York a “sleaze bag” and referred to Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”
The president said he would love to attend his own trial in order to “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces,” but admitted that his lawyers would most likely advise him against it.
Senate Republicans have turned back Democrats’ attempts to subpoena documents and compel White House officials to testify. Mr. Trump claimed that he favored a drawn-out process that would allow him to call witnesses like John Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff; and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but said that allowing them to testify would create “a national security problem.”
But Mr. Trump also expressed reservations about the idea of Mr. Bolton, whom he forced out in September, as a witness because “you don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms.” He said his break with Mr. Bolton was “due to me, not due to him.”
Mr. Trump launched a broadside against the news media, even as he congratulated an NBC News television correspondent, Kristen Welker, on a promotion and hinted he might be willing to appear on her show. “If we could straighten out the press in our country, we would have a place that would be so incredible,” he said.
Mr. Trump also insisted that his side of the story was the easy one to explain, and that he was simply a target because of his own success. “I’m honest,” he said. “I make great deals.”