On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., threw a bone to President Trump, saying he wasn’t the one guilty of talking over her during a White House dinner meeting.
‘By the way it wasn’t the president who was interrupting, let me be clear about that,’ she said.
Pelosi appeared onstage at the annual Washington Ideas Forum Thursday and recounted details from several White House meetings, including the dinner she had with Trump, where she said she had to scold Trump’s cabinet officials saying, ‘Does anyone listen when a woman speaks around here?’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, photographed on Capitol Hill earlier today, spoke about several of her White House meetings during an interview at the Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke Thursday about her relationship with President Trump
The dinner took place the evening of September 31, with Democrats Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., trying to work out a plan to help the so-called Dreamers, as the president had just announced he’d decided to rescind DACA.
‘One of the cabinet officials said, “Why would we want to do this?”‘ Pelosi recalled.
The Washington Post, which first reported the back-and-forth, identified that official as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
‘I was explaining it to him, why it would be in his interest to do this, and at the same time some of the other cabinet officers were saying, “We want to talk taxes,” blah blah,’ Pelosi said.
That’s when Pelosi, the first female to be speaker of the House, made her women remark.
‘How many times have women in the audience been in a meeting where you make a suggestion and then two people later a man will make the same suggestion and then they’ll say, “Isn’t that the greatest idea?” Pelosi asked the crowd.
‘It’s only taken me this long in life to realize they weren’t saying it’s a good idea if it came from a man, they didn’t even listen to the woman,’ she pointed out.
‘So we need to make sure they do, make sure they do,’ the top Democrat in the House repeated.
Pelosi happily talked about another time she piped up too, during the first meeting Trump held with congressional leaders shortly after his swearing-in.
‘He starts the meeting. How will he begin? He’s the president of the United States having his first meeting with the members of the first branch of government, Article I, the legislative branch,’ she said.
‘Will he quote the Bible, will he quote the founders, will there be some poetry?’ she mused.
‘You know I won the popular vote,’ she said, quoting Trump, causing the audience to laugh. ‘Because three to five million people voted illegally.’
Pelosi explained that there was usually a protocol to these meetings, with the president speaking first, and then the various leaders following a certain order.
‘But he didn’t seem to be honoring the protocol, so I thought I didn’t have to either,’ said the Democratic leader.
‘I said, “Mr. President, that’s not true.”‘
The president replied that he wasn’t even counting California, the state Pelosi represents.
After the meeting, Pelosi said it was the Republicans in the room who told the pres about Trump’s claims.
‘Why would you tell anybody?’ she asked the audience. ‘Maybe they thought we would,’ she said, answering herself. ‘I never say what’s going on in there unless somebody else puts it in the public domain and I have to confirm.’
Throughout the interview, in which she sat opposite of ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, Pelosi hinted, to the surprise of no one, that she wasn’t a huge fan of President Trump.
‘We are to each other,’ Pelosi answered when Karl mentioned how Trump had started referring to the Democratic leaders as ‘Chuck and Nancy’ as if they were good friends.
When asked if she spoke to the president often, Pelosi said she had only called Trump, to congratulate him for winning the election.
Trump, Pelosi said, marveled at the time that she had his cell phone number.
‘No, I don’t have your cell phone number, my staff connected us,’ she said.
With tax reform becoming the president’s No. 1 legislative priority as of this week, Pelosi urged reporters in the room not to use the words ‘tax reform’ at all.
‘It’s not tax reform,’ she said. ‘It is the same old trickle down economics.’
‘Trickle down economics has always increased the deficit, has not created jobs, so it’s not true, it’s nonsense,’ she said of the Republicans’ plan.
She connected the GOP’s claims, to false statements the president made about the health care bill, the Graham-Cassidy measure that was pulled from the Senate this week due to three Republican senators planning to vote no.
‘The president also said that they had the votes for health care and one of their members was in the hospital,’ Pelosi said. ‘He wasn’t in the hospital and they didn’t have the votes.’
The House Democratic leader brought Trump’s bizarre hospital claim up when talking about infrastructure as well.
‘I thought we would be able to get together and talk about infrastructure because that’s never been partisan,’ Pelosi said.
‘He said, “I have a $1 trillion infrastructure bill we’re going to pass right away, right Mitch?”‘ she said, again quoting Trump. ‘Mitch says, “Not unless it’s paid for,”‘ she said, citing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
‘So that was the end of that,’ Pelosi said.
‘It’s in the hospital with that other man,’ she quipped.