US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday said she does not hate President Donald Trump, but called him a coward and cruel on certain policies and asserted “don’t mess with me” during a testy news conference as she moved ahead with an impeachment process that could remove him from office.
At the close of the news conference, an indignant Pelosi, the top Democrat in the US Congress, took strong exception to a reporter’s question as to whether she hated Trump, a Republican.
The reporter explained he was asking because some Republicans have said a dislike of Trump is driving impeachment.
“I don’t hate anybody,” Pelosi said. “I was raised in a Catholic house. We don’t hate anybody. Not anybody in the world. So don’t you accuse me,” she said, pointing at the reporter.
Earlier yesterday Pelosi said she directed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment — formal charges — against Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, a historic step that sets up a fight over whether to oust him from office.
Responding to the question about hating Trump, Pelosi criticised the president on policy, calling him a “coward” on failing to take steps against gun violence, “cruel” for seeking to remove protections for “Dreamers” immigrants and “in denial” about climate change.
But Pelosi said those were issues to be settled in an election, while the impeachment inquiry was aimed at preventing abuses of presidential power as outlined in the US Constitution.
“This is about the Constitution of the US and the facts that led to the president’s violation of his oath of office,” she said, tapping the podium for emphasis.
She also said that she continued to pray for the president.
Trump responded to Pelosi’s comments with a Twitter post, saying, “Nancy Pelosi just had a nervous fit,” adding that she hated his accomplishments under his administration.
“She hates that we will soon have 182 great new judges and sooo much more. Stock Market and employment records,” Trump added.
“She says she ‘prays for the President.’ I don’t believe her, not even close. Help the homeless in your district Nancy,” Trump wrote, adding “USMCA?” — a reference to a pending trade agreement with the United States and Canada that Pelosi has not brought to the House floor for a vote.
Trump yesterday filed court papers asking the Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling directing an accounting firm to hand over his financial records to a Democratic-led congressional panel, setting up a major clash between branches of government.
Trump turned to the justices after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided on November 13 that it would not revisit its October decision backing the House of Representatives Oversight Committee’s authority to subpoena the records from Mazars LLP, Trump’s longtime accounting firm.
The Supreme Court on November 25 put that ruling on hold, giving Trump until yesterday to file his appeal.
“This is a case of firsts. It is the first time that Congress has subpoenaed personal records of a sitting president,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.
The Republican president’s lawyers have called the Oversight Committee’s subpoena to Mazars illegitimate.
The lower court ruling, if left intact, would bring House Democrats closer to shedding light on the inner workings of Trump’s business interests even as they pursue an impeachment inquiry against him focusing on his dealings with Ukraine.
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