Her remarks were her first public comments about a broadside by Trump in a television interview conducted Thursday at the site of a solemn ceremony in France commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
Trump, who spoke at a cemetery where nearly 10,000 American war dead are buried, was responding to reports that Pelosi had told colleagues in a closed-door meeting that she would rather see him in prison after being voted out of office than impeached.
During a moderated discussion at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2019 Fiscal Summit, Pelosi declined to confirm that she had voiced that sentiment, saying: “When we have conversations in our caucus, they stay in our caucus.”
Pelosi also said that “not even close” to a majority of House Democrats favor launching impeachment proceedings against Trump and declined to answer a question about whether she would allow an inquiry to proceed if most Democrats favored one.
“Why are we speculating on hypotheticals?” Pelosi asked Manu Raju, who posed questions.
About 60 of the 235 Democrats in the House have publicly said they favor launching an impeachment inquiry against Trump. Most have pointed to episodes of possible obstruction of justice detailed in the report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Pelosi continued to advocate for a more deliberate approach in her conversation with Raju, saying congressional investigations should continue and that she was not convinced more information could be obtained about Trump’s actions by formally opening impeachment proceedings, as some lawmakers have argued.
“My obligation is to do whatever we do in the most effective way possible,” said Pelosi, who declined to answer a question about whether she thinks Trump committed crimes.
Pelosi voiced frustration with how many of Raju’s questions focused on Trump, saying at one point: “I’m done with him. I don’t even want to talk about him.”
Pelosi was dismissive of Trump’s recent threat to impose tariffs on Mexico to secure concessions related to migrant crossings at the southern border.
“They were designed to take your attention away from the Mueller report,” said Pelosi, who called Trump the “diverter-of-attention-in-chief.”
Later Tuesday, Trump took more shots at Pelosi, calling her “a mess” as he spoke to reporters before leaving the White House for Iowa.
“Pelosi attacked me,” Trump said. “She made a horrible statement that I’m sure she wished she didn’t make.”
Trump said that Pelosi’s comments about him came while he was overseas on a trip that included a meeting with the queen of Britain and the president of France.
“You’re not supposed to do that, okay?” he said.