Interview: Nancy Pelosi suggests Trump wants to continue government shutdown and ‘abolish Congress’

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Nancy Pelosi was recently named speaker of the House once again, and she hasn’t wasted any time in using her leadership role as a platform to slam President Donald Trump.

In an interview with Jane Pauley on CBS Sunday Morning, Pelosi took cheap shots at the president, accusing him of wanting to keep the government closed and alleging that he wants to “abolish Congress.” 

The most powerful woman in America

Pauley began by congratulating the California Democrat on being “the most powerful woman in American history” and “in American politics” — even if that power doesn’t allow her to single-handedly reopen the government.

“Well, the speaker has awesome powers, but if the president of the United States is against governance, and doesn’t care whether people’s needs are met, or that public employees are paid, or that we can have a legitimate discussion, then we have a problem and then we have to take it to the American people,” Pelosi said.

Pauley then turned her attention to the partial government shutdown, which is now entering its third week. President Trump has been adamant that he won’t sign a budget bill that excludes at least $5 billion in funding for a border wall, but Democrats haven’t been willing to budge.

Trump has since said that he is willing to continue the shutdown for “months or even years” if Dems aren’t willing to negotiate on this matter of national security, but Pauley thinks he might be exaggerating, and asked Pelosi if she agreed.

“Well, I hope so,” the speaker said, “but the fact is he has said it again and again.”

Missteps, mishaps, and mistakes

Pauley went on to ask Pelosi if she feels she needs to recalibrate her strategy for working with the president, a question the longtime representative dodged.

“Well, let me first say that our purpose in the meeting at the White House was to open up government,” she said of a meeting held between her, Trump, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Vice President Mike Pence last week. “The impression you get from the president is that he would like to not only close [the] government [and] build a wall, but also abolish Congress, so the only voice that mattered was his own.”

Later in the hagiography that masqueraded as a news show segment, the verboten “I-word” came up for discussion as Pauley asked if the new Congress would be “remembered for impeachment” or something else.

Pelosi initially dodged that question too, but Pauley actually pressed the issue.

“That would be depending on what comes forth from the special counsel’s office,” Pelosi said curtly. “If and when the time comes for impeachment, it’d have to be something that has such a crescendo in a bipartisan way.” Watch Pelosi’s full interview:

Pauley also noted that Trump had yet to give Pelosi a “Twitter nickname,” and presumed that was either because he dismisses her as a serious threat or has a measure of respect for her. The speaker replied with a laugh: “In either case, it doesn’t matter to me.”

A moment later, she spoke of her hope for a shared respect for the co-equal branches of government, and added: “It isn’t so much about him, it’s about the office he holds — the presidency of the United States — and sometimes I think I respect the office he holds more than he does.”

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But while Pelosi may say she holds respect for the man in the Oval Office, her unwillingness to negotiate on the border wall is proving otherwise.

She may feel that Trump wants to keep the government closed and work by himself, but it’s clear that she doesn’t see Trump as the authoritarian tyrant that Pauley and other biased journalists have made him out to be. If she did, she wouldn’t be so scared to use the dreaded “I-word.”

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