President Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday night and again on Monday morning on Twitter following a CBS “60 Minutes” interview during which she recounted standing up to him and reiterated her opinion that he is unfit for office and knows it.
“There’s nobody in the country who knows better that he should not be president of the United States than Donald Trump,” Pelosi told CBS’s Lesley Stahl in a roughly 14-minute segment that aired Sunday. In the wide-ranging interview, Pelosi touted Democrats’ achievements in their first 100 days in control of the House of Representatives while also discussing last December’s heated Oval Office showdown over funding for Trump’s border wall, her now-famous State of the Union clap and the power she holds in her current position.
Pelosi’s comments did not appear to go over well with Trump.
“Such a ‘puff piece’ on Nancy Pelosi by @60minutes, yet her leadership has passed no meaningful Legislation,” he tweeted, accusing Democrats of only investigating “crimes that they instigated & committed.” It is unclear exactly what “crimes” Trump was referring to, but in the past he has suggested Hillary Clinton and Democrats be investigated for colluding with Russia.
“The Mueller No Collusion decision wasn’t even discussed-and she was a disaster at W.H.,” Trump added, referencing last year’s fiery border wall spat.
Trump took aim at Pelosi again on Monday morning, asserting that she had “lost all control of Congress” and that she is under the “control” of freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Omar, who previously drew flak for tweets that many of her colleagues saw as anti-Semitic, is now at the center of another controversy, this time over a speech she gave to a Council on American-Islamic Relations banquet last month. Her talk drew little attention until a controversial Australian figure tweeted a clip of her using the phrase “some people did something” when describing the 9/11 attacks.
“Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made,” Trump wrote. “She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!”
Trump has sought to put a spotlight on Omar’s comments in recent days, including a Friday tweet that included video of the twin towers falling on 9/11. His use of the visceral imagery brought widespread condemnation from Democrats concerned it could inspire more violence aimed at Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, and she has said she has seen an uptick in death threats.
The scathing tweets directed at Pelosi are a departure for Trump, even though she has been among his most vocal critics. Despite his history of feuding with other high-ranking Democrats on Twitter, Trump has seldom directly taken aim at Pelosi. Just last month, she appeared to win favor with the president when she said in an interview with The Washington Post Magazine that she was “not for impeachment,” adding “it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”
A spokesman for Pelosi had no comment Sunday, but the speaker’s team was quick to respond to the president on Twitter.
“Thanks for watching!” the tweet said.
During Sunday’s interview, Stahl did press Pelosi about critics who have said “it seems like right now nothing is getting done” with her at the helm.
“One of the complaints we’ve heard is that you don’t reach across the aisle,” Stahl said. “You pass things, whatever it is dies in the Senate.”
Pelosi pushed back, telling Stahl firmly, “Nothing’s died,” before shifting the focus to her power as speaker to set the agenda in the House, and how she has wielded it in the past 100 days.
“We didn’t have a speaker who would bring a gun bill to the floor,” she said. “We didn’t have a speaker who would bring a ‘dreamers’ issue to the floor. We do now, and that’s a very big difference. The power of the speaker is awesome.”
When the conversation inevitably turned back to Trump, Pelosi did not shy away from criticizing the president or talking about the times she has stood her ground against him. The interview began with her once again pushing for the president’s taxes and the full report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Russian interference in the 2016 election to be released.
“You’ve said, ‘If someone’s ripping your face off. You rip their face off,’” Stahl said, after pointing out that Pelosi seems to be “one of the very, very few people who have stood up to [Trump] and won.”
“Oh yeah, I would do that,” Pelosi responded. “Yeah, I probably said that. . . . They just have to know, you throw a punch, you better take a punch.”
In recent months, Pelosi has made headlines for her public interactions with Trump, often going viral as a result. As The Post’s Colby Itkowitz reported in December, she emerged from the White House meeting on border security “not some wilted flower, but a symbol of a woman who doesn’t have time for male posturing.” Then, at February’s State of the Union, she sarcastically clapped at Trump after he called for rejecting “politics of revenge, resistance and retribution” and was crowned “Queen of Condescending Applause.”
“This is your new branding of Nancy Pelosi, kind of like a giant slayer almost,” Stahl remarked.
“I happen to be a manifestation of the women power that is coming forth now, but only one manifestation,” Pelosi said.
She continued: “As our founders said, when they declared independence and established a new nation, ‘The times have found us.’ . . . The times have found us, not because we’re so great, but because of the urgency of the situation that our country faces because of the situation in the White House.”
When asked how she would describe Trump, Pelosi’s answer was blunt.
“I think that he describes himself on a daily basis,” she said, noting that Trump is aware “he should not be president."
"But I respect the office he holds and he’s not worth the trouble of saying, ‘You’re so horrible we can’t work together.’ No, we need to work together.”
John Wagner contributed to this story.
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