“She is obsessed with impeachment, she has done nothing. She is going to go down as one of the worst Speakers in the history of our country,” Trump said Friday night during an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham. “And she’s become a crazed lunatic. But she will go down as — I think maybe the worst speaker in the history of our country.”
But some Twitter users were quick to point out the track record of other past speakers, namely Hastert (R-Ill.), the longest -running Republican speaker, from 1999 to 2007, and an admitted sex offender who molested teenage boys he had coached in high school wrestling. Hastert was convicted of bank fraud in a scheme to buy the silence of his victims.
“Well, the correct answer would be Dennis Hastert, the man is a pedophile,” tweeted user @SwayzeofArabia.
“Question: Who would have ever guessed that Donald Trump would think it was worse to be a strong, intelligent woman like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, than an actual convicted pedophile like Speaker Dennis Hastert? Answer: Everyone,” wrote @LynnSharig8.
Several others mentioned former speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who resigned in part due to an extramarital affair he was having with a younger staffer at the same time he was impeaching President Bill Clinton for lying about his affair with an intern. Some nominated recent speakers John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), both of whom left Congress rather than lead the divided Republicans.
Trump went on a brief tweeting spree Saturday morning, railing against Democrats and their impeaching him. On Friday, Pelosi signaled that she’d be sending the House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate sometime next week, which allow the Senate to begin its trial.
“Now the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, are asking @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell to do the job that they were unable to do,” Trump tweeted. “They proved NOTHING but my total innocence in the House, despite the most unfair & biased hearings in the history of Congress. Now they demand fairness!”
Republicans claim they were shut out of the House impeachment process because they were not allowed to freely call their own witnesses, but the White House blocked key witnesses with firsthand knowledge from participating in the House probe and refused to send counsel to testify in Trump’s defense.
Democrats have pressed for witnesses to be called in the Senate trial, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has rejected the requests, leading to Pelosi holding the articles of impeachment as she tries to get enough GOP senators to side with her on the issue and force McConnell’s hand.