House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California claimed Thursday that President Donald Trump ended a meeting with her the previous day because he was upset the House Democratic Caucus is not moving toward impeachment.
The president responded later in the day, saying the speaker “is a mess.”
At a news conference from Capitol Hill, Pelosi told reporters, “There is no question: The White House is just crying out for impeachment. That’s why he flipped yesterday.”
“I think what really got to him was these court cases and the fact the House Democratic Caucus is not on a path to impeachment, and that’s where he wants us to be,” she added.
Speaker Pelosi says Democrats have been saying “cover-up” for a while, but it bothered Pres. Trump yesterday because “the House Democratic Caucus is not on a path to impeachment, and that’s where he wants us to be.” https://t.co/U0jof6O2zK pic.twitter.com/QzmcQ5sF5L
— ABC News (@ABC) May 23, 2019
The Washington Post reported Pelosi told Democrat leaders during a closed-door meeting Thursday morning Trump “wants to be impeached, so he can be exonerated by the Senate,” according to a source familiar with the meeting.
The president abruptly ended a pre-scheduled White House meeting the previous day with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York after Pelosi said she and fellow Democrats believe Trump is “engaged in a cover-up.”
Before making the short trip from Capitol Hill to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Pelosi told reporters, “We believe no one is above the law, including the president of the United States and we believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.”
On Thursday, the speaker argued the president should not have taken such offense at her comments.
“We’ve been saying ‘cover-up’ for a while,” Pelosi said, adding that Trump “understands [that] is true,” presumably that he is engaging in one.
Trump addressed Pelosi’s “cover-up” charge during a quickly arranged news conference in the Rose Garden on Wednesday morning after ending the meeting with the speaker and Schumer, which was supposed to address improving the nation’s infrastructure.
On the podium from which Trump spoke, White House staff hung a sign that read, “Mueller investigation by the numbers: $35+ million spent, 2,800+ subpoenas, 675 days, 500+ witnesses, 18 angry Democrats. No collusion, No Obstruction.”
“I just saw that Nancy Pelosi just before our meeting made a statement that ‘We believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,’” Trump said. “I don’t do cover-ups.”
“I’m the most transparent president, probably, in the history of this country,” he added. “The whole thing with Russia was a hoax as it relates to the Trump administration and myself. It was a total horrible thing that happened to our country.”
The president went on to argue that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team — which consisted of no known Republicans (with the possible exception of Mueller himself), and included multiple people who contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign — would have loved to have found his campaign colluded with Russia, but they did not.
In a pair of tweets on Thursday, Trump wrote that the Democrats are simply trying to “re-do” the Mueller report.
“The Democrats are getting nothing done in Congress. All of their effort is about a Re-Do of the Mueller Report, which didn’t turn out the way they wanted. It is not possible for them to investigate and legislate at the same time,” he wrote.
….drug prices, pre-existing conditions and our great Vets. All they are geared up to do, six committees, is squander time, day after day, trying to find anything which will be bad for me. A pure fishing expedition like this never happened before, & it should never happen again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2019
“Their heart is not into Infrastructure, lower drug prices, pre-existing conditions and our great Vets,” he continued. “All they are geared up to do, six committees, is squander time, day after day, trying to find anything which will be bad for me. A pure fishing expedition like this never happened before, & it should never happen again!”
Trump said at the White House on Thursday that Pelosi and her fellow Democrats “have never recovered” from his victory in the 2016 election.
“Pelosi was not happy about it, and she is a mess,” he said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told reporters on Capitol Hill earlier in the day that it was “irresponsible” of Pelosi to say Trump wants to be impeached.
“She knows better than that. She knows the president does not want that,” McCarthy said.
“I think that’s irresponsible of the speaker to even say,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says when asked about Speaker Pelosi’s claim that President Trump wants the House to pursue impeachment because it would help rally his base https://t.co/Dsb13I85pk pic.twitter.com/VS1M6atFVU
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 23, 2019
“The president didn’t have a meeting of a bunch of members of Congress to talk about impeachment, the speaker did,” he added. “The president didn’t go to a microphone and claim Speaker Pelosi was covering something up, the speaker did.”
Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told The Western Journal in an email that “Democrats are absolutely obsessed with undermining the president of the United States.”
“Meanwhile, the American people suffer as Democrats in Congress refuse to address the major issues like securing our border and improving health care and education,” she said.
“I believe the Congressional Democrats are over playing their hand,” Lesko continued. “It is obvious to almost everyone that this is nothing more than a political attempt to win the 2020 presidential election. The Democrats will stop at nothing to undermine the president of the United States.”
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