President Donald Trump slammed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as ‘Crazy Nancy’ and ‘Crying Chuck’ on Thursday as he doubled down on his argument he was ‘calm’ on Wednesday when he walked out of an infrastructure meeting with the lawmakers.
‘You had the group – Crying Chuck and Crazy Nancy,’ Trump said of gathering.
‘I’ll tell you what, I’ve been watching her, and I have been watching her for a long period of time, she’s not the same person. She’s lost it,’ Trump said at an event at the White House. ‘I think she’s got a lot of problems.’
‘I would say calm as I was at the news conference,’ he added.
He continued to insult the speaker.
‘She was all crazy yesterday,’ he said.
‘I don’t want to say, ‘crazy Nancy’ because if I say that you’re going to say it’s a copy of ‘crazy Bernie’ and that’s no good. Because Bernie is definitely crazy,’ he added.
He also said he hasn’t changed since becoming president.
‘I haven’t changed very much. Been very consistent. I am an extremely stable, genius,’ he said.
President Donald Trump slammed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as ‘Crazy Nancy’ and ‘Crying Chuck’
Trump then asked some of the White House staff – including Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, deputy press secretary Mercedes Schlapp, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, press secretary Sarah Sanders, and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley – to vouch for his temperament.
‘Very calm, no temper tantrum,’ Conway said.
‘Very calm I’ve seen both and this was definitely not angry or ranting,’ Sanders said.
Pelosi on Thursday accused President Trump of wanting Democrats to impeach him and then flipping out when she held the party back from starting proceedings.
‘The White House is just crying out for impeachment. That’s why he flipped yesterday,’ Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.
‘Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence. I don’t know. But on the other hand, we understand what our responsibilities are,’ she charged.
‘I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,’ she said.
Pelosi argued Trump was upset Democrats did come out of a Wednesday morning meeting prepared to start impeachment proceedings, which resulted in him storming out of a White House infrastructure meeting with her and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
‘That was what disappointed him, because he didn’t see this rush to impeachment coming out of our caucus in our 9 o’clock meeting, which he thought was called specifically for him,’ Pelosi said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of wanting to be impeached
Pelosi said maybe President Trump wants to take a leave of absence from his job
At Wednesday’s meeting of House Democrats, the speaker told colleagues Trump wanted to be impeached by House Democrats so he could be vindicated by the Senate,
In the impeachment process, the House brings charges of impeachment while the Senate holds the formal trial – with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding.
When former President Bill Clinton was impeached, it was the Republican-controlled House that brought charges and the Senate who cleared him. Republicans controlled the upper chamber by five seats but it requires a two-thirds vote (67 senators) to remove a president from office.
Pelosi on Thursday accused President Trump of being a ‘master of distraction’ and using the Democrats’ meeting for his own purposes.
‘I truly believe that the president has a bag of tricks and the White House has a bag of tricks that they save for certain occasions. They don’t necessarily apply to the occasion, but they’re a distraction, which is his master of distraction,’ she said. ‘We will all agree on that. That’s something he does well, to distract from problems that he has. He changes, tries to change the subject.’
Pelosi argued the Wednesday morning meeting of House Democrats – which was solely on the subject on impeachment proceedings and called specifically for that purpose – was a regularly scheduled party meeting.
‘And while he tried to say it’s because I said cover-up, we have been saying cover-up for a while. And our 9 o’clock meeting was a meeting we have anyway. So it had nothing to do with him,’ she said.
‘But I think what really got to him was that these court cases and the fact that the House Democratic Caucus is not on a path to impeachment. That’s where he wants us to be,’ Pelosi added.
The speaker also said Trump was ‘afraid’ after court decisions on congressional subpoenas came down in favor of Democrats – meaning Trump will have to comply with them.
A federal judge in New York on Wednesday refused to block subpoenas from House Democrats for Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One. Earlier this week a judge in Washington D.C. ruled Trump’s former accounting firm Mazars would have to comply with a subpoena from Democrats.
‘I think what happened, he said it’s because of cover-up, and that strikes a chord with him, and he’s afraid of cover-up, but afraid of being accused of cover-up,’ she said.
Pelosi was a leader in the House in the 1990s when Republicans initiated impeachment proceedings against then-President Bill Clinton. The move ultimately backfired on them when Democrats won control of the House in the next election.
Trump would likely use impeachment proceedings as a rallying cry for the GOP base on the campaign trail next year when he runs for re-election.
Trump, meanwhile, blasted reports Thursday he stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional Democrats enraged, arguing he was ‘extremely calm’ despite several witnesses stating otherwise.
‘I was extremely calm yesterday with my meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, knowing that they would say I was raging, which they always do, along with their partner, the Fake News Media. Well, so many stories about the meeting use the Rage narrative anyway – Fake & Corrupt Press!,’ Trump tweeted.
President Donald Trump blasted reports he stormed out of a White House meeting with Democrats enraged, arguing he was ‘extremely calm’
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended the president’s demeanor
Trump also doubled down on his accusation that Democrats are too busy investigating him to do any policy work on Capitol Hill.
‘When the Democrats in Congress refinish, for the 5th time, their Fake work on their very disappointing Mueller Report finding, they will have the time to get the REAL work of the people done. Move quickly!,’ he wrote.
Pelosi accused Trump of acting like a ‘baby’ in their Wednesday meeting and Schumer said the president threw a ‘temper tantrum’ during Wednesday’s sit down on infrastructure.
White House officials also described Trump as furious – but they blamed his anger on Pelosi for holding a meeting on impeachment with House Democrats – where she accused Trump of a cover-up – before coming to the White House.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders even made a rare appearance on CNN to defend the president’s demeanor.
‘He came in calmly, in command of the room, and said, “I want to do infrastructure, I want to get these things done, but you guys have to make a decision on whether or not you want to work with us or whether you want to spend all of your time attacking me,’ she said.
And White House counselor Kellyanne Conway went on Fox News to claim stories the president lost his temper were ‘ridiculous.’
‘All these ridiculous stories: The president was in a rage, he’s fuming, he stormed out, temper tantrum. There was none of that,’ she said. ‘He actually never raised his voice.’
Conway blamed Pelosi for holding a meeting on impeachment before their infrastructure session.
‘All she had to do was either move her meeting to later in the afternoon with her caucus, where she’s under enormous pressure to get on with impeaching the president which she doesn’t want to do right now, or she could have said, “I won’t talk to you right now, we’re on our way to the White House to work on infrastructure, let’s meet at 2:00 or 3:00 and I’ll give you the rundown of the whole day.” But no, they can’t resist going out and giving a live running commentary of what her more outrageous, liberal, hell-bent on getting this president out of the White House members are pressuring her to do,’ Conway said.
‘So the president said let’s work on infrastructure. And then he left, very calmly. And I want to emphasize that because he never raised his voice a single time. He was very polite, and said, “You can’t have two tracks. You can’t say that I’m engaged in a cover-up, you can’t want to impeach and investigate and then pretend you want to legislate. So get back to me when you’re done playing these games and I’ll be ready,”‘ Conway added.
She then attacked Pelosi for her treatment of her at the end of session.
‘I said, respectfully, “Madam Speaker, would you like to address some of the specifics the president talked about?” And she said, “I talk to the president! I don’t talk to staff!” Because let’s face it, she is the sixth-most rich member of Congress. She treats everybody like they’re her staff. She treats me like I’m either her maid or her driver or her pilot or her makeup artist. And I’m not. And I said to her, “How very pro-woman of you!” per usual, because she’s not very pro-woman. She’s pro-some-women. A few women,’ Conway said.
Pelosi snapped back when asked about Conway’s accusation: ‘I’m not going to talk about her. I respond as speaker of the house to president of the united states. Other conversations are up to them.’
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway accused Pelosi of treating her like a maid at Wednesday’s White House meeting
Speaker Pelosi snapped back that she wasn’t responding to Conway
Sanders also blasted Democrats for holding the impeachment meeting before the White House infrastructure sit down.
‘You can’t literally have a meeting like Nancy Pelosi did yesterday just an hour before she got to the White House where she accused the president of a crime, said he had engaged in a cover-up, and show up and pretend like nothing has happened and let’s just sit down and talk about roads and bridges,’ Sanders said.
‘It just doesn’t work that way. She knows that. Nancy Pelosi’s problem is she’s totally lost control of her party. She’s got the far-left wing telling her what to do, maybe some of the moderates that actually want to get something done, and she’s lost control and at some point she has to make a decision of which direction she’s going to take,’ she added.
Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer defended Pelosi’s slow approach on impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying Democrats need to uncover as much information as possible before moving forward.
‘Speaker Pelosi is doing it the right way. Let’s try to unearth as much information as we can to show the American people as well as we can that how poorly this president is performing,’ Schumer said on CNN Wednesday night.
‘Once the facts come out the American people and the House and who knows maybe the Senate will make decisions,’ he added.
Pelosi has held back Democrats calls to start proceedings against the president, arguing instead to let the six House committees investigating Trump’s businesses, taxes, and administration to do their work first.
Her approach has worked with her party so far. But Schumer didn’t hold back his frustration with the president.
‘We have never had a president like this,’ he said.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer defended Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approach on impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump
And President Trump defended his storming out of a White House meeting Wednesday
But, he added, Democrats will continue their Trump investigations despite the president’s threat not to work with them until they stand down.
‘We have to keep doing our job which we are trying to do and holding the president accountable. And I think we’re doing a good job of each and that’s why he threw his temper tantrum because he’s so frustrated by what happened,’ Schumer said.
Sanders argued the only item on Democrats’ agenda in Congress is to investigate the president.
‘They are incapable of doing anything other than investigating this president. They spend all of their time attacking him, and the fact that they would have a meeting an hour before they are set to arrive at the White House where Nancy Pelosi literally accuses the president of a crime and then wants to walk into his office and sit down as if nothing happened? That’s just – that’s lunacy. That’s not even in the realm of possibilities,’ she said.
Democratic congressional leaders argue they are capable of both investigating the president and working on policy legislation.
Trump tried Thursday to frame Democrats as a ‘do-nothing party’ fixated on impeaching him, as the implications of the previous day’s bipartisan blowup settled over Washington.
‘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,’ Trump wrote in a morning tweet.
‘Their heart is not into Infrastructure, lower 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!’
‘The Democrats have become known as THE DO NOTHING PARTY!’ he jabbed minutes later.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blasted Democrats for holding a meeting on impeachment Wednesday before coming to the White House to talk infrastructure
Trump lashed out at Democrats on Thursday as a ‘do nothing party’ that’s obsessed with impeaching him
Trump is locked in a war of words that Pelosi started by claiming he’s engaged in a ‘cover-up’ of ‘impeachable offenses.’
He short-circuited a planned meeting on infrastructure legislation hours later at the White House, saying he wouldn’t work with Pelosi or Schumer until they shelf their investigations – which he says are designed to publicly retread the same ground covered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Pelosi described the event as a ‘poor baby’ moment and ‘very strange.’
Schumer complained Thursday morning that there are no calm voices in the White House to hold Trump back.
‘There is no one home. The only people able to say, “Mr. President, you have to do this better,” they are gone,’ he said on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ And he claimed Democrats look better after the fracas than the president.
‘I say yesterday we came out a lot better than he did,’ Schumer said. ‘I think the show wears thin. I think the lack of accomplishment, the do-nothing presidency sinks in.’
President Trump defended his actions Wednesday night.
‘In a letter to her House colleagues, Nancy Pelosi said: “President Trump had a temper tantrum for us all to see.” This is not true. I was purposely very polite and calm, much as I was minutes later with the press in the Rose Garden. Can be easily proven. It is all such a lie!,’ he tweeted.
Sanders said Democrats need to get over the fact the special counsel found no evidence of collusion and move on.
‘The fact is we considered that case closed, I think most of America did, it’s time for Democrats to get on board. They don’t get to do a do-over because they didn’t like the outcome. That’s like me telling my kid, “I’m sorry you didn’t win your soccer game, but that’s okay, we will just play it over.” That’s not how life works. They lost, and it’s time to move on,’ she said.
Wednesday’s planned infrastructure meeting – a rare subject on which Democrats and Republicans mostly agree – quickly devolved into yet another battle between the legislative and executive branches after Trump stormed out of the sit down and straight into the White House Rose Garden to rail against the investigations against him.
Pelosi, in response, accused him of committing ‘impeachable offenses.’
The House Speaker mocked his conduct on a day of drama as ‘very strange,’ shortly after the president blew up a meeting with Democratic leadership by berating her and Schumer then holding a press conference to attack them more.
The showdown in the Cabinet Room came at what had been supposed to be a summit with Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and other top Democrats to hammer out how to pay for a $2 trillion infrastructure package.
But Pelosi had accused him just over an hour earlier of presiding over a ‘cover-up’ after holding a meeting with her caucus, some of whom are pushing aggressively to impeach the president – leaving him fuming, according to a White House official.
Instead of talking about spending, Trump berated the Democrats and walked out to the Rose Garden to address reporters who had been moved in front of it even before Schumer and Pelosi sat down in the Cabinet room.
‘I don’t do cover-ups,’ Trump told the reporters, speaking in front of a podium emblazoned ‘No collusion, no obstruction.’
‘You people probably know that better than anybody,’ he added. He said wouldn’t work with Pelosi or Schumer, the Senate Minority leader, until they stood down the investigations.
President Donald Trump spoke to reporters in the Rose Garden on Wednesday after cutting short a planned meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer; he said he won’t work with them as long as they’re pursuing a carefully crafted plan to investigate and impeach him
Ready for battle: Trump walked to the podium set up for his impromptu press conference with pages of notes, some of which were hand written
Pre-prepared: Even before Pelosi and Schumer had arrived from Capitol Hill, White House reporters were invited to stand in front of the podium emblazoned with criticism of the Mueller probe from Trump spoke
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she’s praying for Trump and was amazed at the way the president ended the scheduled sit-down
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer claimed the president’s storm-out was a setup and he never intended to negotiate over infrastructure spending in the first place
‘When they get everything done, I’m all set to – let’s get infrastructure, let’s get drug prices down. In the meantime we’re doing excellent work without them,’ Trump said.
Pelosi and Schumer rushed back to Capitol Hill and held their own joint press conference, with Pelosi saying: ‘I pray for for the president of the United States.’
An hour later she upped the ante, accusing him of committing ‘impeachable offenses.’
Pelosi described the meeting as ‘very, very, very strange.’
‘He walked away. Whether he intended to act on what he said before remains to be seen,’ she said at the
She also said it was a ‘poor baby’ moment for Trump.
HOW D.C.’S DAY OF DRAMA UNFOLDED
9 a.m. Capitol Hill
House Democrats gather for closed-door caucus meeting to talk impeachment. Nancy Pelosi faces down progressives demanding it and convinces them to get behind leadership’s strategy of investigating but not impeaching
10 a.m. Capitol Hill
Pelosi speaks at a brief press conference after caucus meeting and tells reporters Trump is engaged in a ‘cover-up’
11.15 a.m. White House
Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are spotted arriving at the White House.At exactly the same time, reporters are asked to gather at the doors to the Palm Room, which allows access to the Rose Garden
11.23 a.m. White House
Reporters are escorted to the Rose Garden and see the podium which says ‘no obstruction, no collusion’
11.35 a.m. White House
Reporters get a two minute warning that Trump is going to speak – meaning the meeting with the Democrats is already over
11.37 a.m. White House
Trump walks out to the podium in the Rose Garden, notes in hand and attacks the Democrats
12.01 p.m. Capitol Hill
Pelosi and Schumer hold their own press conference and says she is praying for Trump
1.01 p.m. White House
Trump tweets a new attack on the Democrats and says: ‘Thank you so much for your prayers.’
1.04 p.m. Renaissance Hotel, D.C.
Pelosi tells Democratic think tank’s conference that Trump is committing ‘impeachable offenses’
‘Instead in an orchestrated – almost poor baby point of view – he came in the room and said that I said he was engaged in a cover up and couldn’t possibly, couldn’t possibly engage in a conversation on infrastructure as long as we were investigating him,’ Pelosi said.
‘Now we were investigating him since we took over the majority so there’s nothing new in that. And then he had a press conference in the Rose Garden with all these sort visuals that were obviously planned before I said most currently he was engaged in a cover up. So it’s really sad,’ she added.
The confrontation and effective declaration by Trump of all-out war came on a morning which had opened with liberal Democrats piling pressure on Pelosi to consider opening formal impeachment proceedings.
That, some progressives believe, is the only mechanism capable of short-circuiting the White House’s refusal to obey House subpoenas for documents and testimony.
Progressive lawmakers used an early-morning meeting of the Democratic caucus to deliver their message to the Speaker – who faced them down and declined to proceed with impeachment.
Then, in a press conference after the caucus meeting, Pelosi fired the day’s first salvo by accusing Trump of engaging in a ‘cover-up’ fueled by his refusal to let former White House lawyer Don McGahn and current Attorney General Bob Barr testify in Democrat-led hearings.
‘We do believe that it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law, including the President of the United States. And we believe that the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,’ she told reporters at the Capitol.
A senior White House aide said that Trump was fuming at the cover-up allegation as soon as he saw it.
He may have been set off by a House committee’s subpoena for testimony and documents from his former communications director.
Trump has yet to comment on the attempt by the House Judiciary Committee to compel testimony from Hope Hicks, but former aide, who is now the executive vice president and chief communications officer for Fox, is very close to him.
Hicks has not addressed the subpoena and isn’t expected to testify again. The White House claimed this week that Trump has the power to shield current and former senior officials from compelled testimony to Congress, and he argued Wednesday that the hours of questions his aides endured from lawmakers and Mueller in previous sessions were more than enough.
But instead of canceling the meeting, he let the two top Democrats and other leaders come to the Cabinet Room and asked officials to organize a podium and for White House reporters to be in the Rose Garden.
When the Democrats arrived to the White House, the president walked in and berated them.
Then he walked out three minutes later and said nearly the same thing to reporters that he had said to the Democratic leaders and senior aides.
Trump told the press that he had entered his meeting with Pelosi and Schumer saying he wanted a deal to fund refurbishment and replacement of infrastructure like roads, tunnels, bridges and airports.
‘But you know what?’ he said he told them. ‘You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with.’
He says he told them, ‘It’s sad. This meeting was set up a number of days ago at 11 o’clock. All of a sudden I hear last night they’ll have a meeting, right before this meeting, to talk about “The I-word,” he said, referring to impeachment over claims that he obstructed justice. ‘
Special Counsel Robert Mueller dismissed Democrats’ claims that his campaign colluded with Russians in 2016, but left it to Trump’s own Justice Department to determine whether to charge him with obstruction for allegedly trying to impede the Russia probe.
‘The I-word! Can you imagine? I don’t speak to Russians about campaigns,’ Trump said. ‘When I went to Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania, I don’t say, “Let’s call Russia.” … It’s a hoax. The greatest hoax in history.’
Trump tweeted a mouthful after the White House blowup, ending with a jab at Nancy Pelosi for piously saying she would be praying for him
Democrats in Congress are hanging on Pelosi’s every word as the try to discern whether she’s on board for a Trump impeachment
Moments after Trump concluded speaking, Pelosi and Schumer rebutted him on Capitol Hill.
‘He wasn’t really respectful. He took a pass, and it just makes me wonder why he did that,’ Pelosi told reporters. ‘In any event, I pray for the President of the United States and I pray for the United States of America.’
‘He came in the room and made the statement he made – well, I won’t even characterize it,’ she said.
TRUMP PREDICTED ALL-OUT WAR WITH DEMOCRATS
Donald Trump spoke with reporters on November 7, 2018, the day after Democrats won control of the House of Representatives:
QUESTION: The real question is, you just said up here, and said from this podium, that it’s — are you offering a my-way-or-highway scenario to the Democrats? You’re saying …
TRUMP: No. Negotiation. Not at all.
QUESTION: … that if — if they start investigating you, that you can play that game and investigate them.
TRUMP: Oh, yeah. Better than them.
QUESTION: Can you compartmentalize that —
TRUMP: And I think I know more — and I think I know more than they know.
QUESTION: Can you compartmentalize that and still continue to work with them for the benefit of the rest of the country? Or are you —
QUESTION: Are all bets off?
TRUMP: No. If they do that, then it’s just — all it is, is a warlike posture.
Schumer accused Trump of orchestrating the whole spectacle in advance.
‘It’s clear this was not a spontaneous move on the president’s part,’ Schumer claimed. ‘It was planned.
‘To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop.
‘When we got in the room the curtains were closed, the President – there was a place for him at the front, so he could stand and attempt to tell us why he wouldn’t do infrastructure.
‘And of course, then he went to the Rose Garden with prepared signs that had been printed up long before our meeting.’
The senior White House official who spoke to DailyMail.com said the sign was printed a month before – and Trump had used the graphic that appeared on the podium in a tweet.
In a bizarre sub-plot, Kellyanne Conway was reported to have been involved in a confrontation with Pelosi after Trump stormed out.
After Conway turned to Pelosi and asked if she had a response for the president, prompting the House Speaker to say: ‘I’m responding to the president, not staff.’
As the Cabinet Room emptied, a source told the Wall Street Journal that Conway told Pelosi: ‘That’s really pro-woman of you.’
A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Trump was the only one who spoke – before he left the short-lived meeting.
As Trump ranted about Democrats in the Rose Garden, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was spotted outside the West Wing talking to senior presidential advisor Ivanka Trump, suggesting she was also in the room at the time of her father’s eruption.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Conway were also standing near the entryway that connects the Cabinet Room to the Rose Garden via a short hallway.
As Trump ranted about Democrats in the Rose Garden, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was spotted outside the West Wing, talking to senior advisor Ivanka Trump, suggesting she was also in the room at the time of her father’s eruption
Pelosi ramped up her allegations of a presidential cover-up just after 1 p.m., opening the door for impeachment as liberal members of her caucus continue to publicly nudge her in that direction.
‘The fact is – in plain sight, in the public domain – this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up,’ she said during a conference held by the Center for American Progress.
‘And that could be an impeachable offense.’
In his mini tweet-storm during the lunch hour, Trump wrote: ‘Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!’
Reporters at the White House were summoned with mere minutes’ notice to hear Trump speak and field two questions.
By then the president’s podium was already set up with a placard declaring that the Mueller probe found ‘NO collusion’ and ‘NO obstruction,’ suggesting the public remarks weren’t completely impromptu.
Trump quoted from a Wall Street Journal editorial that called for Democrats to move on from their investigations.
‘There was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign,’ he said. ‘That’s it. But they want to make this a big deal. Whether or not they carry the big “I-word” out.’
‘There is a danger here,’ he claimed. ‘If someday a Democrat becomes president and you have a Republican House, they can impeach him for any reason, or her. Any reason. We can’t allow that to happen.’
The president vented about Democrats’ plan of attack, re-launching investigations on which he believes the Mueller probe was the final word
Trump stood at a Rose Garden podium that already had a ‘NO Collusion, NO Obstruction’ placard on it, suggesting the hastily called press event wasn’t entirely impromptu
Trump’s clash with congressional Democrats is just the latest in a series of head-on collisions since Democrats took over the House of Representatives in January.
‘I respect the courts. I respect Congress. I respect right here where we’re standing,’ he said Wednesday, referring to the White House. ‘But what they’ve done is abuse. This is investigation number four on the same thing, probably five, and it really started, I think, pretty much from the time we came down the escalator in Trump Tower.’
‘We’re doing a lot without them,’ Trump added. ‘Let them play their games. We’re going to go down one track at a time.’
A senior aide repeated Trump’s one track comment yet told DailyMail.com that Trump would consider working with Democrats on legislative priorities as investigations into him continue.
‘I think we have to see,’ the person said, noting that they are ‘literally accusing the president of a crime’ and then claiming they want to work on infrastructure. ‘Give me a break.’
Pelosi took a parting shot at the president as her own hastily scheduled press conference ended, speculating with an acid tongue about why he had decided to storm out of their meeting.
‘Maybe it was lack of confidence on his part, that he really couldn’t match the greatness of the challenge that we have,’ she said.
The all-out confrontation with Trump will actually help Pelosi, who is battling against the progressive wing of her caucus who want to impeach Trump.
Her comparison of Trump’s conduct to Nixon’s are the furthest she come to date about going forward on impeachment proceedings against Trump – a tactic she has worried will backfire on Democrats in the 2020 election.
Pelosi also argued that the probes being conducted by six House committees into Trump’s businesses, his taxes, his 2016 campaign and his administration are getting underneath the president’s skin.
Our investigations are ‘reaping benefits,’ she said.
Her comments came after she said earlier in the day she would not proceed with impeachment proceedings against the president amid pressure from some in her party to do just that.
Pelosi hosted a closed-door meeting with House Democrats on Wednesday at the Capitol to try to rein in lawmakers who want to see impeachment proceedings begin against Trump.
Her tactic appeared to work – for now. Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of those beating the impeachment drumbeat, sounded a more muted tone after the gathering.
‘I was satisfied with the openness of the conversation,’ she told NBC News. ‘I think we’re having thoughtful conversations about it and that’s the important thing.’
Pelosi let the six committee chairs leading investigations against Trump make the case that the Democrats are investigating the president and don’t need to go as far as impeachment to continue to do so.
Additionally, a pro-impeachment faction addressed the members, lawmakers in the room said afterward.
Pelosi described it as a ‘respectful’ gathering and said the meeting wasn’t about persuading lawmakers to change their minds about impeachment.
‘It’s not a question of persuasion, we were just exchanging information and points of view,’ she said.
And she hit back at an early morning tweet from Trump who charged Democrats with sacrificing their legislative work to investigate him.
‘We do have our legislative agenda that we’re moving forward on. It was a very positive meeting, a respectful sharing of ideas, and I think a very impressive presentation by our chairs,’ Pelosi said.
Democrats in Pelosi’s corner were able to talk about victories in their probe of Trump, his businesses, his 2016 campaign and his administration.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler discussed his panel’s vote to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for not handing over the full, unredacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
He pushed for the full House to vote on contempt of Congress for Barr this month.
Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of those beating the impeachment drumbeat, sounded a more muted tone after the gathering
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler pushed for the full House to vote on holding Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt this month
He also said Mueller must testify in public, according to a Democratic source in the room. The Judiciary panel and the Justice Department are negotiating on Mueller’s testimony and reports indicate the special counsel would prefer to speak behind closed doors.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff discussed his panel’s recent agreement with the Justice Department to begin accessing parts of Mueller’s files in the Russia investigation.
And House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings pointed out that Democrats won a key court case – a federal district judge ruled on Monday that the accounting firm Mazars will need to turn over Trump’s accounting records to the panel.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren pointed out than any subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry would also have to go through the court process.
‘Regarding impeachment inquiry, we still have to go to court to get our subpoenas enforced. You know, we are winning those battles now,’ she said.
The impeachment talk among Democrats heated up in the wake of former White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal, at the White House’s request, to comply with a subpoena for his testimony on the Russia investigation and his testimony outlined in Mueller’s report.
His refusal to appear Tuesday set off a wave of fury among Democrats.
Democratic lawmakers said afterward that Pelosi was able to tamp down on some members’ call for Trump’s head.
‘Nancy still prevails in persuading our caucus to keep your powder dry on that one,’ Rep. Gerry Connolly said afterward of the impeachment talk even as he conceded no lawmakers pushing for impeachment changed their minds.
‘The overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus continue to believe that the speaker has set forth the appropriate course which is deliberate yet forceful,’ Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, said afterward.
‘There is a growing number of members who have publicly articulated a desire to move toward an impeachment inquiry but as far as I can tell the number is somewhere between 20 and 25,’ he added. ‘There are 239 members of the House Democratic Caucus, which means the overwhelming majority continue to believe that we should proceed along the course that we’re on right now.’
Some lawmakers, however, cautioned that continued defiance by the president would heat up impeachment talk again.
‘I think that we’re seeing the drumbeat moving in that direction, the more he defies us,’ Democratic Rep. Katie Hill said. ‘But I don’t think that the process is as a whole, is there.’
Pelosi was a leader in the House in the 1990s when Republicans tried to impeach then-President Bill Clinton – only to lose control of the lower chamber in the next election.
But some more liberals members have pushed to move forward with impeachment proceedings amid Trump’s defiance of congressional subpoenas for information on . his businesses and testimony from former administration officials.
The calls have even gone beyond the halls of Congress to the 2020 presidential campaign.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running for the Democratic nomination, said during a town hall in Iowa Tuesday night that impeachment is ‘not something that I take lightly’.
‘If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics, or the repercussions in the next election, we will set a precedent that, in fact, some people, because of the position of power and public trust that they hold, are above the law,’ he said.