In a closed-door meeting with five of her committee chairmen Tuesday night in which she tried to quell talk of impeaching Trump, Pelosi said she would rather “see him in prison” after leaving office, according to two Democratic officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private conversations.
Calls for impeachment have been growing among Democrats, who have seized on episodes of possible obstruction of justice by Trump detailed in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump’s tweets echoed attacks on Pelosi made during a television interview Thursday at the site of a solemn ceremony in France commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Against the backdrop of a cemetery where nearly 10,000 American war dead are buried, Trump called Pelosi “a nasty, vindictive, horrible person.”
“I think she’s a disgrace,” Trump told host Laura Ingraham on Fox News. “I actually don’t think she’s a talented person. I’ve tried to be nice to her because I would have liked to have gotten some deals done. She’s incapable of doing deals.”
In his tweets, Trump complained about ongoing House investigations of him and his administration and urged Congress to “Go to work on Drug Price Reductions & Infrastructure.”
Two weeks ago, Trump angrily walked out of a meeting at the White House with Pelosi and other Democrats on the nation’s infrastructure, saying he was unable to work with them because Pelosi that morning had said he was ducking congressional subpoenas as a “coverup” for his own misbehavior.
During the Fox News interview, Trump also called Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) a “jerk” and Mueller a “fool.”
Trump, who until recently had largely avoided criticizing Pelosi, called her “Nervous Nancy” in the interview with Ingraham.
“Nancy Pelosi’s a disaster,” he said. “Okay, she’s a disaster.”
Trump went on to say that Pelosi should be focused on the conditions of her home city of San Francisco.
“It’s the most disgusting thing, what she’s allowed to happen to her district, with needles, with drug addicts, with people living in the middle of streets, with people living on the sidewalk,” he said.
The interview was recorded before Thursday morning’s ceremony in France that paid tribute to troops who stormed Normandy’s beaches 75 years ago in an invasion of Nazi-occupied France that helped turn the tide of World War II. The interview aired in full on Thursday night.
Pelosi, who attended the ceremony, declined to respond to an excerpt in which Trump branded her “a disaster.” During a brief interview, she said she would rather not criticize Trump while she is out of the country, according to a tweet by a CNN correspondent.
Several of Pelosi’s colleagues rose to her defense on Friday, including Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.).
“Mr. President, it’s completely disrespectful to call @SpeakerPelosi names while on the hallowed grounds of Normandy,” he wrote on Twitter. “These political attacks were not only disrespectful, but they were wrong. The memory of America’s heroes deserve better —our country must be better than this.”
Trump mentioned Schumer as he voiced frustration in the interview about undocumented immigrants coming into the United States through Mexico. The president contended, as he frequently does, that Congress is not willing to help him address the problem.
“We have crying Chuck Schumer, who’s a disaster by the way,” Trump said. “He’s a total political, you know, jerk.”
Trump said that Mueller had made “such a fool out of himself” last week when he delivered a public statement regarding his investigation.
During his appearance, Mueller said his office could neither clear nor accuse Trump of obstructing his investigation, citing a long-standing Justice Department opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
During the Fox News interview, Trump seized on a joint statement issued later that day by the special counsel’s office and the Justice Department clarifying that Mueller’s account did not conflict with Attorney General William P. Barr’s previous characterization of Mueller’s thinking.
“Let me tell you, he made such a fool out of himself . . . because what people don’t report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony because his testimony was wrong,” Trump said.
During his public appearance, Mueller cited the Justice Department policy and said that if his office “had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” He also said that the Constitution “requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” a reference to impeachment.
Barr previously testified to the Senate that Mueller had told him he did not conclude that Trump had committed a crime or that he would have been charged if not for the Justice Department policy regarding indicting sitting presidents.
While some congressional Democrats suggested that Mueller contradicted Barr, the joint statement from the special counsel and Justice Department said there was “no conflict” between their statements.