In the months since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., assumed her role, there’s one subject she can never seem to avoid being asked about: President Donald Trump. But on Thursday night, she said she’s over it.
“I’m done with him, in terms of talking about him,” Pelosi told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on his ABC show. “What we want to talk about is, let’s build the infrastructure of America and not have him stomp out of the room.”
Pelosi and the president have been engaged in an ongoing feud that reached a boiling point last week after the speaker publicly accused Trump of engaging in a “coverup.” In response, Trump stormed out of a planned meeting intended to discuss a $2 trillion infrastructure package after only three minutes, choosing instead to rail against Democrats and their “phony investigations” at an impromptu news conference in the Rose Garden.
Kimmel, however, appeared to be much more interested in keeping the focus of his sit-down with Pelosi on Trump. The host and vocal critic of the president kicked off the 14-minute segment pressing Pelosi on impeachment in the wake of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s recent suggestion that only Congress could “formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” Despite facing intensifying calls for impeachment from members of her own party, Pelosi has repeatedly made efforts to tamp down the talk and resisted making decisive moves toward that step.
“We need you to get in there and to take care of this,” a passionate Kimmel said at one point during the interview.
“Let me just say this immodestly, I probably have a better idea as to what the president has to be held accountable for than anyone,” Pelosi responded. She later added, “The only person who knows better than I why this president is not above the law, why this president must be held accountable, the only person who knows better than I do is the president of the United States. He knows. He knows what his violations have been.”
The challenge, Pelosi said, would be convincing the Republicans in Senate, who are “completely in the pocket of Donald Trump.”
She again asserted her belief that this may be the reason Trump wants to be impeached.
“He knows it’s not a good idea to be impeached, but the silver lining for him is then he believes he would be exonerated by the United States Senate, and there’s a school of thought that says if the Senate acquits you, why bring charges against him in the private sector when he’s no longer president?”
She continued: “When we go there with our case, it’s gotta be ironclad.”
As Pelosi repeatedly stressed the necessity of being “as ready as you can possibly be” before taking on impeachment, Kimmel only had one question.
“Will we be ready before the year 2020?” he asked.
“Yeah, we will,” Pelosi responded with a laugh.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Allyson Chiu