US President Donald Trump won't resign if impeached

US President Donald Trump won't be waving goodbye to the White House if he is impeached.
US President Donald Trump won't be waving goodbye to the White House if he is impeached. Photo credit: Newshub

President Donald Trump has pledged he won't pull a Richard Nixon and resign in the face of certain impeachment, saying he's not the type who backs down from a fight.

Trump sought to set himself apart from the disgraced 37th president on Monday while fielding questions about mounting Democratic calls for his removal from office.

"President Nixon never got there. He left. I don't leave," Trump told reporters at the White House. "There's a big difference."

Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974 after his political support eroded amid a House Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry unearthing information about his involvement in a cover-up of the Watergate scandal.

Republicans and Democrats alike had abandoned Nixon at the time of his resignation and it was widely believed he would have been impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate had he not stepped down.

But Trump - despite having a long history of pulling out of business ventures when the going gets tough - said it's not in his nature to leave and pledged to stay put even if the House impeaches him.

"You can't impeach somebody when there's never been a thing done wrong," he said at the White House.

The president's comments came as former White House counsel and Watergate star witness John Dean testified before the House Judiciary Committee on what he called striking parallels between Trump and Nixon.

"In many ways, the Mueller report is to President Trump what the so-called Watergate road map ... was to President Richard Nixon," Dean said of the grand jury document that painted a damning portrait of Nixon and was handed over to the House judiciary panel in March 1974.

"Stated a little differently, special counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a road map."

Trump took aim at Dean even before he started speaking, tweeting, "Can't believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor ... Democrats just want a do-over which they'll never get!"

A growing number of Democrats have called for Trump's impeachment in light of special counsel Robert Mueller refusing to exonerate the president of obstruction of justice.

During an unusual public appearance last month, Mueller upped the ante as he said he never indicted Trump because it wasn't an option under longstanding Justice Department policy.