Nancy Pelosi insisted that the Democratic caucus has no current plans to impeach Donald Trump during her first interview since becoming Speaker of the House for the 116th Congress
Newly-elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated that the Democratic caucus has no current plans to impeach Donald Trump while defending her colleagues that have said otherwise and warning that the Russia investigation could change that.
The Maryland Democrat sat down with MSNBC’s Joy Reid at a town hall meeting at Trinity University in Washington, her alma mater, on Friday night, one day after she took over the Speaker’s gavel and the 116th congress was sworn in.
Asked about the possibility of a Democrat-controlled House bringing articles of impeachment against Trump, Pelosi’s carefully crafted her response.
‘I do think that we want to be unified and bring people together. Impeachment is a very divisive approach to take and we shouldn’t take it without the facts,’ she said.
Pelosi repeated her previous assertions that the appropriate House committees should conduct investigations before any action is taken against Trump, and said of the outside counsel’s Russia probe: ‘We’ll see what happens with the Mueller report.’
The Maryland Democrat was interviewed by MSNBC’s Joy Reid at her alma mater Trinity University in Washington, DC, in a town hall meeting that aired Friday night
When asked specifically a comment made by freshman Michigan Rep Rashida Tlaib – who yesterday said of Trump: ‘We’re going to impeach the motherf***er’ – Pelosi said: ‘Generationally, that would not be language I would use, but nonetheless, I don’t think we should make a big deal of it.
‘I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish language standards for my colleagues.’
She added that Tlaib’s rhetoric was ‘nothing worse than the president has said’ himself, and said she believed if the Michigan Rep was a man, no one would care nearly as much.
When asked specifically about a comment made by freshman Michigan Rep Rashida Tlaib (above)- who on Thursday said of Trump: ‘We’re going to impeach the motherf***er’ – Pelosi said: ‘Generationally, that would not be language I would use, but nonetheless, I don’t think we should make a big deal of it’
Pelosi is entering her second term as speaker – after having been the first woman to hold the job from 2007 to 2011 – under rather tumultuous conditions in the government, which has been shut down for 14 days and counting.
Congress and the president are currently at an impasse over the budget as Democrats refuse to hand over the $5.5million Trump has demanded for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
‘The wall and the government shutdown really have nothing to do with each other,’ Pelosi said, calling it ‘totally irresponsible’ to connect the two issues.
‘There is no reason to have workers pay a price with their paycheck,’ she said of the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are currently furloughed or working without pay.
On the first day of the new congress, the House passed two bills to reopen the government, but Trump responded by saying he will veto them and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t bring them to a vote in the Senate if Trump is going to veto them.
As if trying to give Trump a way out, Pelosi reminded that he doesn’t actually have to sign a bill passed by Congress. ‘It becomes the law [after 10 days]. The president doesn’t even have to sign,’ she said.
Earlier on Friday, Pelosi and other congressional leaders met with President Trump to discuss the ongoing government shutdown. Pelosi (right) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (right) are seen leaving the White House after the meeting
Trump said of the possibility that he will get removed from office: ‘You can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job’
Trump met with congressional leaders from both parties on Friday, and at a press conference after the meeting he revealed that he had brought the topic of impeachment up with Pelosi.
Pelosi’s office confirmed Trump did bring up the topic – during his opening statement to Republican and Democratic lawmakers about the government shutdown now in its 14th day.
‘And we even talked about that today,’ Trump told reporters following the two-hour closed door meeting.
‘You can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job. That’s how I view it.’
He then recounted part of his meeting with Pelosi and the joint leadership. ‘I said why don’t you use this for impeachment,’ Trump said, referencing the shutdown. ‘She said we’re not looking to impeach you,’ according to the president.
‘I said: “That’s good, Nancy, that’s good.” But you don’t impeach people when they’re doing a good job,’ he continued.
‘And you don’t impeach people when there was no collusion because there was no collusion,’ he added, returning to his repeated claims on Twitter and at prior press conferences.
‘It’s very hard to impeach somebody that’s done a great job,’ he said, reinforcing the point.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill Tweeted minutes after Trump spoke: ‘In his opening comments at the meeting, President Trump brought up impeachment. Speaker Pelosi made clear that today’s meeting was about re-opening government, not impeachment.’
His statement did not touch on Trump’s claim that Democrats were not looking to impeach him.
Pelosi’s office confirmed that impeachment came up during Friday’s meeting – adding that Trump raised it in his opening remarks to congressional leaders