An impeachment-related video released over the weekend by an associate of President Donald Trump includes unrelated footage of the president and several dinner guests discussing autonomous trucking, shipping and electric vehicles.
The video appears to show the president telling associates to “take out” and “get rid of” Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch — efforts that are at the center of the case Democrats are presenting in impeachment proceedings against the president.
Made during a dinner with donors on April 30, 2018, the recording was released by the attorney Joseph Bondy, who is representing Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman and associate of Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney.
Parnas is under federal indictment for campaign finance violations.
About an hour and ten minutes into the video, one of the guests, apparently a trucking executive, suggests the government “as a solution, not a problem,” should run a “500-mile piece of road, and dedicate a lane on both sides for autonomous trucks.”
“Talk about driver shortage,” the executive states. “All the technology is there, right now.”
But “you can’t put them with the cars,” he adds, because of “insurance, the regulation, the states, the perception.”
At that point, Trump inquires, “How safe is autonomous?”
“It’s absolutely safe,” the executive says confidently, before another voice interjects: “I’m scared of those — you see those cars driving by themselves.”
The conversation then shifts to Amazon. A guest complains the e-giant is getting a bulk rate even though it “is sucking up” postal services capacity.
If they are using up capacity, why are they getting a bulk rate, he asks.
“Everyone at this table gets that rate,” another guest responds.
The video includes discussion of Tesla and electric cars as well, starting around minute 57.