Nancy Pelosi

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President Trump attempted to extend an olive branch to Democrats in the midst of a growing feud between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“I can work with the speaker, sure,” he told reporters gathered on the South Lawn of the White House Friday. “I can work with the speaker. I can absolutely work” with her.

Trump said Democrats would have to move past their anger over the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, however, before they could work together on bipartisan legislation for issues such as infrastructure and prescription drug costs.

“They were very unhappy with the Mueller report,” Trump said. “No collusion. No obstruction. No nothing. They’re very unhappy about it. They have to get over their anger.”

Trump and Pelosi have been exchanging barbs since Wednesday, when Pelosi accused the president of engaging in a cover-up and Trump responded by abruptly leaving an infrastructure meeting with top Democrats.

The president said then he was not willing to work on infrastructure with Democrats until they dropped their investigations.

“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. I would be really good at that. That’s what I do. But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with,'” he said during a press conference following the failed meeting.


‘ivesssapology for a video’: Rudy Giuliani tweets bizarre slurred non-apology to Nancy Pelosi for tweeting fake video of her appearing incoherent then demands SHE withdraw demand for ‘intervention’ on Trump

  • Bizarre tweet from Rudy Giuliani included a slurred-speech word that made some Twitter users speculate that he was drinking
  • He was offering a backhanded non-apology to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for circulating a fake, edited video of her 
  • The mashup of footage from a Pelosi speech on Thursday was slowed down to make her words sound slurred
  • ‘ivesssapology for a video,’ Giuliani tweeted in a message that ended in the middle of a sentence; he later tweeted the same thoughts again
  • The first tweet included a GIF of NBA basketball players that he didn’t explain 

Rudy Giuliani stoked concerns about his well-being Friday morning with a tweet containing a backhanded apology to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for circulating a fake video ofher appearing incoherent during public events.

‘ivesssapology for a video which is allegedly is a caricature of an otherwise halting speech pattern,’ tweeted Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyers. 

‘[S]he should first stop, and apologize for, saying the President needs an “intervention.” Are’

The tweet ended there, leading some on Twitter to speculate that Giuliani was drunk in the 9:00 a.m. hour. 

It’s unclear whether his opening word, a slurred-speech mashup, was itself a parody of the video that journalists debunked as a fraud on Thursday.

Trump lawyer Rudi Giuliani tweeted a pair of messages at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday including one that featured the typed equivalent of slurred speech and a cryptic basketball GIF

Trump lawyer Rudi Giuliani tweeted a pair of messages at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday including one that featured the typed equivalent of slurred speech and a cryptic basketball GIF

Giuliani's first tweet began with an unintelligible word and ended mid-sentence, driving speculation online that he might have been drinking

Giuliani’s first tweet began with an unintelligible word and ended mid-sentence, driving speculation online that he might have been drinking

Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, tweeted a replacement message without erasing the first, and hasn't explained the basketball video snippet

Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, tweeted a replacement message without erasing the first, and hasn’t explained the basketball video snippet

Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

He also included a GIF image of players from an NBA team putting their hands in the air, a motion signifying a 3-point shot. He didn’t explain its significance.

A half-hour later he tweeted again, this time in words that sounded lucid and forceful, to make the same point.  

‘Nancy Pelosi wants an apology for a caricature exaggerating her already halting speech pattern,’ he wrote. ‘First she should withdraw her charge which hurts our entire nation when she says the President needs an “intervention. “People who live in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones.”’

Giuliani never deleted his earlier mangled tweet.

The former New York City mayor was pilloried online Thursday for sharing the faked video of Pelosi, which included slow-motion footage that made her words sounds slurred – and made her appear drunk. 

Giuliani shared a faked video of Pelosi slurring her speech on Thursday with his 316,000 Twitter followers

Giuliani shared a faked video of Pelosi slurring her speech on Thursday with his 316,000 Twitter followers

The original video came from Pelosi’s remarks on Wednesday at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference, where she spoke about President Donald Trump walking out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats earlier that day.

The altered version was posted by Politics WatchDog – a conservative group on Facebook – and quickly went viral.

Giuliani later shared the altered clip on Twitter, writing: ‘What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre’.

He deleted that tweet 15 minutes later, after Twitter users pointed out that it had been doctored.

Two hours later, Giuliani tweeted a message about the Mueller report that began: ‘How do the Dems get away with their dishonesty?’  

Pelosi was the target of the misinformation campaign when a video of her speaking on stage was altered to make it appear she was slurring her words

Pelosi was the target of the misinformation campaign when a video of her speaking on stage was altered to make it appear she was slurring her words

Washington Post analysis found the video he shared had been slowed to about 75 percent of its original speed. 

It also appears that the sound of Pelosi’s voice was changed so the slowed speech would not deeped the pitch of her voice.  

Trump later tweeted a different video, a mashup of Pelosi stumbling over her words during the speech, tweeting: “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE”.’

That video did not include altered segments. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham warned Democrats if they don’t stop attacking President Trump they won’t stand a chance at beating him in the 2020 presidential election.

“The Democrats are going to get him reelected,” Graham, R-S.C., said Friday on Fox News. “I don’t think you can become the nominee of the Democratic Party without embracing impeachment. And if you’re a House member of the Democratic caucus, you’re going to get a primary if you vote against impeachment.”

Congressional Democrats have increased their scrutiny of Trump in recent weeks, launching investigations into his 2016 campaign, finances, and personal life.

Democratic leadership has tamped down talks of impeachment, suggesting the House investigations should be allowed to play out and if evidence supporting impeachment is uncovered, the party will pursue it.

Trump is “crying out” for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said this week.

Trump and allies like Graham have pointed instead to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as the final word on Trump’s personal conduct and fitness for office.

A recent cover of the New Yorker magazine depicted Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Attorney General William Barr giving Trump a shoeshine.

The suggested message is that leading Republicans are doing the president’s bidding and helping cover up his abuses of power in the White House.

“If I’m helping the president, good for me, I want him to succeed,” Graham said Friday on Fox News. “If I’m helping the president it’s good for the country because I think I’ve got something to offer him. He’s doing a really good job.”

The South Carolina senator has not always spoken so favorably about the president.

As they ran against one another in the 2016 Republican primary, Graham called Trump a “jackass” after the Trump campaign released Graham’s private phone number.

Graham has shifted his focus to alleged corruption present in the FBI and Department of Justice leading up to the 2016 election.

He and other leading Republicans have railed against a “deep state” that sought to undermine Trump and help Hillary Clinton.

“They are driving the Democratic Party over an edge,” Graham said of progressive Democrats. “Between what Trump has accomplished for this country and how crazy they’ve become, he’s gonna get reelected.”

A House Republican blocked the passage of a $19.1 billion disaster relief package that lawmakers hoped to send to President Trump’s desk after months of partisan fighting had stalled the money.

Final passage will now have to wait until the week of June 3, when House lawmakers return from a recess.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, opposed passing the measure by unanimous consent, delaying consideration until the House returns.

Democrats hoped to approve the spending measure by unanimous consent, which does not require a roll-call vote. Republicans are in the minority, so Democrats will be able to pass the measure with a roll-call vote when lawmakers return.

The measures stalled despite a bipartisan accord struck between leaders in the House and Senate, and after Trump agreed to lift some demands that had been holding up the bill. Other lawmakers also agreed to drop some of their funding requests that were stalling talks.

[Related: Senate approves $19.B disaster aid package]

Roy cited the high price tag for the measure, arguing it deserved floor debate. He also pointed to the lack of funding needed to deal with a humanitarian crisis on the border that the president had been seeking.

The House could attempt to pass the measure once again in the next pro forma session on Thursday, but it would again invite a possible GOP objection.

Democrats denounced the move.

“House Republicans’ last-minute sabotage of an overwhelmingly bipartisan disaster relief bill is an act of staggering political cynicism,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “Countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey offered similar sentiments.

“After President Trump and Senate Republicans delayed disaster relief for more than four months, it is deeply disappointing that House Republicans are now making disaster victims wait even longer to get the help they need,” Lowey, D-N.Y., said.

[Also read: What’s Trump covering up? Democrats seek ‘the impeachable truth’]

“We must pass this bicameral, bipartisan bill, and we will keep working to get it through the House and onto the president’s desk.”

Trump agreed to sign the bill without $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help deal with the recent surge in illegal immigration along the southern border. Removing the border funding eased the agreement. Democrats were opposed to its inclusion, and Trump agreed to leave it out after talks with Republicans Thursday. Senate Republican leaders said Thursday they’ll attempt to move the border security funding separately.

The Senate passed the measure yesterday with overwhelming bipartisan support, but with criticism from GOP leaders.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticized Democrats for blocking the money Trump was seeking, arguing the funds are needed for humanitarian aid in response to thousands of migrant families crossing into the United States from Mexico.

“This wasn’t money for the wall, or even for law enforcement. It was money so that the federal government could continue to house, feed, and care for the men, women, and children showing up on our southern border,” McConnell said. “Money for agencies that are currently running on fumes.”

The measure also includes millions of dollars more for Puerto Rico despite Trump’s argument that the island has already received enough disaster aid.

[Read: Trump says he has ‘taken better care of Puerto Rico than any man ever’]

Democrats blamed Trump and the GOP for the delay in passing the package and called the humanitarian funding “extraneous.”

“It’s good that Republicans finally came to their senses and realized that Puerto Rico and other disaster-impacted areas deserve to be treated fairly and that extraneous provisions shouldn’t be added to the disaster relief package,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.

It would provide more than $3 billion for farm crop damage due to storms and nearly $1 billion for the Marine Corps and Air Force to repair bases and restore equipment damaged by recent hurricanes.

The measure would also provide $600 million to the Economic Development Administration to provide grants to areas damaged by storms in 2018 and 2019.

[Related: Bipartisan pair introduces Puerto Rico statehood bill in Congress]

WASHINGTON (AP) — She’s calling for an “intervention” to save the nation from him. He says she’s “crazy.”

The enmity between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deteriorated Thursday into rude-and-then-some questioning of his fitness for office and her sanity, with personal attacks flowing from both the nation’s top elected officials after a dramatic blow-up at the White House.

However intended, the exchanges left uncertain ahead of the 2020 election whether Trump and the Democrats will be able to work together on serious, must-pass tasks, such as funding the government and raising the federal borrowing limit, let alone thornier issues such as immigration, national security and more.

Pelosi went first, with demure shrugs and practiced sass. Then, as a tornado warning blared across Washington, Trump followed with a derisive nickname — something he had declined to give her, up to now.

“She’s a mess,” Trump told reporters at an afternoon news conference in which he lined up White House staff to testify to his calmness the day before when he walked out after three minutes at a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer.

“Crazy Nancy. … I watched Nancy and she was all crazy yesterday.”

As for himself, he declared, “I’m an extremely stable genius.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly questioned President Donald Trump's fitness for office Thursday. At one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution's provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president. (May 23)

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Pelosi scolded back:

“When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues,” she tweeted.

There was more, before and after that exchange, for political enthusiasts with the time and interest to follow along.

For those who don’t: The theater came a day after Trump stalked out of the Cabinet Room demanding an end to all congressional investigations before he would work with Congress on repairing U.S. infrastructure or other matters. He apparently was wound up generally over the ongoing congressional Trump-Russia probes into whether he obstructed justice, and specifically by Pelosi’s jab a few minutes earlier at the Capitol that he “is engaged in a cover-up.”

“I don’t do cover-ups,” fumed Trump, who is fighting subpoenas for testimony by current and former White House officials.

Hanging over the increasingly personal exchanges is a drumbeat among about two dozen Democrats and one Republican to launch impeachment hearings against Trump based on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which described Trump’s efforts to block his federal investigation. Pelosi has resisted that impeachment pressure, preferring a methodical process by which Congress investigates and lays out the facts on the question of obstruction of justice. She says the House is “not on a path to impeachment,” but she’s been clear this week that an impeachment inquiry is not off the table.

Short of that, she’s been happy to give Trump a hard time all year, including questioning his manhood and forcing him to re-open the government without the border wall money he demanded. On Thursday, she said the White House is “crying out” for impeachment — the idea being that a vindication by the Republican-controlled Senate would help assure his re-election.

On Thursday, subtlety went by the wayside. Pelosi said Trump has established a pattern of unpredictability, and at one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution’s provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says "it's insane" to think infrastructure talks can continue as if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had not accused President Donald Trump of a "cover-up." (May 23)

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“I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, adding that she prays for him and the nation.

“Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence,” she said. Asked whether she’s concerned about Trump’s well-being, she replied, “I am.”

Trump denied he wanted the House to formally charge him.

“I don’t think anybody wants to be impeached,” he said.

Pelosi, the second in line to the presidency, said she thinks Trump’s actions Wednesday were part of his skill at distraction. But she also suggested what he does isn’t all strategic.

“Sometimes when we’re talking to him he agrees,” she said, only to change his mind. “He says he’s in charge and he may be.”

During questions, Pelosi said she thought a reporter had asked about “statutory” intervention, the 25th Amendment.

“That’s a good idea,” she said with a smile. “I am going to take it up with my caucus. Not that they haven’t been thinking about it.”

She has been insulting Trump since the meeting Wednesday that was supposed to be about bridges and other crumbling infrastructure.

“For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part … he took a pass, and it just makes me wonder why he did that,” she told reporters back on Capitol Hill. “In any event I pray for the president of the United States.”

Trump tweeted back: “Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!”

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Associated Press Writers Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

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Follow Kellman and Miller on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman and http://www.twitter.com/ZekeJMiller .

Counselor Kellyanne Conway, White House communications director Mercedes Schlapp, deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the White House on Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—President Trump smiled as he entered the Roosevelt Room in the White House, armed with $16 billion in good news for farmers struggling amid his continuing trade conflict with China. By the time he left, Mr. Trump had effectively carpet bombed what little remained of his relationship with congressional Democrats by mocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s intelligence, ridiculing her speaking style and calling the first woman to lead the U.S. House “a mess.”

Thursday brought another episode of the Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi show, culminating in a roster of senior presidential advisers lining up along the wall of the historic room attesting to how calmly Mr. Trump had handled Wednesday’s installment.

With more than a dozen American farmers looking on, including an Idahoan wearing a red “Make Potatoes Great Again” hat, Mr. Trump was asked by reporters about comments from Mrs. Pelosi earlier in the day that the president’s family should stage an intervention after his behavior during a meeting on Wednesday. At that gathering, Mr. Trump told Democrats he wouldn’t work with them while investigations of him continued and then abruptly stormed out of the room before anyone else could speak.

Mr. Trump responded to the question by calling upon five White House aides—one after the other—to stand in front of TV cameras and vouch for the prudence and discipline he said he displayed at a meeting a day earlier with Democrats.

“No temper tantrum,” said Kellyanne Conway, his counselor. Hogan Gidley, a deputy press secretary, wasn’t even in the room for the meeting, but still attested to the president’s composure. Larry Kudlow, Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser who is hobbled with a bad hip, leaned on a cane as he limped to the front of the room to tell his boss, in front of television cameras, “You were very calm.”

President Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling her ‘crazy’ after she suggested the president’s family stage an intervention, and asked his staff to vouch for his calm and collected behavior as a dozen farmers looked on. Photo: EPA

“I’m an extremely stable genius,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

After 28 months in office, Mr. Trump has amassed a highlight reel of astonishing, must-see moments on live television, and his impromptu news conference on Thursday provided another. The latest performance demonstrated his concern about Mrs. Pelosi’s comments and his desire to counter. Often that happens on Twitter, but he has twice in two days delivered his ripostes in televised news conferences from the White House.

The round of testimonials from his staff most closely recalled the unusual cabinet meeting in June 2017, when agency heads and senior staff—men and women Mr. Trump had nominated or hired—showered him with adulation as the TV cameras rolled. “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people,” Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff at the time, told him.

The cabinet meeting two years ago came as the administration’s travel ban had been blocked again by an appeals court and as then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed to testify in public about his connections to an investigation of Russian meddlings in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump unleashed his latest performance amid escalating tensions between he and Mrs. Pelosi.

Before traveling to the White House to meet with Mr. Trump Wednesday, Mrs. Pelosi accused the Republican president of engaging in a “coverup” as a growing faction of Democrats called for Mr. Trump’s impeachment. She described Mr. Trump as having a “temper tantrum” at their meeting in the White House and on Thursday urged his staff and his family to “have an intervention for the good of the country.

“I pray for the president of the United States,” she said, adding that “this is not behavior that rises to the dignity of the office of president of the United States.”

Mr. Trump’s frustration was palpable in the White House on Thursday. He said that he made a point of telling his staff he would be calm with Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer so that they couldn’t accuse him of “ranting and raving.” Mr. Trump had wanted to avoid a repeat of his meeting with leaders in January over a government shutdown, when, frustrated after the lack of progress, he ended it after 20 minutes by putting his hands in the air—two open palms on either side of his face—and said, “Bye-bye,” and left the room.

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Democrats left that meeting saying Mr. Trump had pounded the desk in anger, but he denied acting violently. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he left his meeting on Wednesday and “went directly to the press conference” to show reporters he was calm and stave off accusations that he was fuming.

“I didn’t want them to say I did it—they said it anyway,” Mr. Trump said, closing his eyes for effect.

Mr. Trump’s complained about “the narrative” from Democrats about him. And accused them of lying to score political points. “They don’t feel they can win the election,” he said about his re-election campaign in 2020. “So they’re trying to do the thousand stabs.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who momentarily left the news conference, returned as staff was praising the president. She added some levity when Mr. Trump asked if he was “screaming and ranting and raving” at the meeting, or if he was calm.

“I’ve seen both,” she said. “This was definitely not angry or ranting. Very calm and straightforward.”

The response drew laughs from much of the room, but not Mr. Trump, who only flashed a brief but tight smile.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who was in the room for the announcement about aid to farmers, said it was “frustrating” that the positive news for farmers likely would be overshadowed by Mr. Trump’s latest back-and-forth with Mrs. Pelosi.

“Obviously he is a very passionate leader,” Mr. Perdue said.

Write to Michael C. Bender at Mike.Bender@wsj.com

Since the release of the Mueller report, Democrats have been toying with the idea of impeaching President Trump, moving the goal posts from collusion with the Russian government to committing obstruction of justice. However, a new talking point has emerged: Trump is involved in a “cover-up.”

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.Calif., said, “We do believe that it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States. And we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.”

The media has been having a free-for-all, taking this shiny new term and milking it for all its worth.

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace likened this episode to former President Richard Nixon. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer trotted out House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to agree with the House speaker. And MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell shed light on how Trump is engaged in the cover-up by not turning over documents (including his tax returns), letting aides testify before Congress, and asserting executive privilege on the Mueller report.

Of course, Trump denies this charge.

“Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up,” Trump told reporters at the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday. “I don’t do cover-ups.”

Pelosi’s use of the term “cover-up” seems to be a calculated move. It’s almost a blanket term that all Democrats can use instead of a term such as “obstruction.” If Democrats can’t move anywhere on a particular investigation, they can say it’s a cover-up. And if they don’t get the desired result out of an investigation, they can hammer home that it’s because it’s a cover-up.

Democrats haven’t been shy about using subpoena power since gaining control of the House. According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration is blocking 20 separate investigations led by House Democrats, including Trump’s tax returns, the Mueller report, and his financial dealings. Trump is blocking aides from testifying before Congress, he asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report, and he even sued both Deutsche Bank and Capital One to get them to not comply with congressional subpoenas.

The goal is to let the courts decide whether the Trump administration has to comply with these subpoenas. But the courts have been a mixed bag for Trump so far.

On issues such as Trump’s watered-down travel ban or his “remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers, the courts have ruled in Trump’s favor. However, the dam is beginning to break on some of these investigations as a federal judge said that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can turn over Trump’s financial records to House Democrats.

Looking at the bigger picture, Democrats are making it clear what their central messaging will be for the 2020 election, regardless of where these investigations lead. They’re pinning their hopes that voters will catch wind of this idea that Trump is spearheading a cover-up, believe he hasn’t been more forthcoming and transparent, and side with Democrats at the ballot box.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly questioned President Donald Trump’s fitness to remain in office Thursday, suggesting a staff or family “intervention” for the good of the nation after his dramatic blow-up at a White House meeting with Democrats. Trump responded by calling her “crazy.”

“She’s a mess,” Trump told reporters at an afternoon news conference in which he lined up White House staff to testify to his calmness at a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. “Cryin’ Chuck, Crazy Nancy … I watched Nancy and she was all crazy yesterday,” he claimed.

As for himself, he declared, “I’m an extremely stable genius.”

Both the Republican president and Democratic leaders dug in a day after Trump stalked out of the Cabinet Room demanding an end to all congressional probes before he would work with Congress on crumbling U.S. infrastructure and other matters. By Thursday as Congress prepared to recess for the Memorial Day break, both sides were questioning each other’s stability, with the president insisting on Twitter that he was calm when he left the White House meeting that was to focus on infrastructure spending after just three minutes.

Pelosi said Trump has established a pattern of unpredictability, and at one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution’s provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly questioned President Donald Trump's fitness for office Thursday. At one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution's provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president. (May 23)

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says "it's insane" to think infrastructure talks can continue as if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had not accused President Donald Trump of a "cover-up." (May 23)

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“I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, adding that she prays for him and the nation.

“Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence,” she said. Asked whether she’s concerned about Trump’s well-being, she replied, “I am.”

Pelosi also said the White House is “crying out” for the Democrats to launch impeachment hearings — the idea being that such a move would help him politically. White House aides believe that if Democrats move to impeach — and even if they win approval of articles of impeachment in the House — Trump would be acquitted in the GOP-controlled Senate, supporting his assertion that he’s a victim of Democratic harassment and helping him toward re-election. But the president denied that he’s urging the Democrats on.

“I don’t think anybody wants to be impeached,” Trump said.

However genuine, accusations of infirmity dominated the exchanges on Thursday and raised questions about whether Pelosi and Trump could work together on must-do tasks this year, such as raising the debt limit and funding the government. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said staff-level work on critical policy and spending continues.

Yet Sanders also said on CNN that it was “lunacy” and “insane” for Democrats to think everyone could just proceed after Pelosi accused Trump of a “cover-up” just before the meeting Wednesday.

“It’s very hard to have a meeting where you accuse the president of the United States of a crime and an hour later show up and act as if nothing has happened,” Sanders told reporters outside the White House.

Hanging over the increasingly personal exchanges is a drumbeat among about two dozen Democrats and one Republican to launch impeachment hearings against Trump based on details in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that Trump repeatedly tried to block the investigation . Pelosi has resisted, preferring a methodical process by which Congress investigates and lays out the facts on the question of obstruction of justice. But she’s been clear this week that any such finding could be worthy of a formal indictment by the House — that is, impeachment.

Pelosi also is balancing the calls for impeachment with the concerns of members from divided districts who helped flip the House to Democratic control and now face tough re-elections 2020.

Pelosi, the second in line to the presidency, said she thinks Trump’s actions Wednesday were part of his skill at distraction. But she also suggested that he’s unpredictable.

“Sometimes when we’re talking to him he agrees,” she said, only to change his mind. “He says he’s in charge and he may be.”

During questions, Pelosi also joked with a reporter about the 25th Amendment. “That’s a good idea. I am going to take it up with my caucus. Not that they haven’t been thinking about it.”

She has been insulting Trump since the meeting on Wednesday.

“For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part … he took a pass, and it just makes me wonder why he did that,” she told reporters back on Capitol Hill. “In any event I pray for the president of the United States.”

“Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!” Trump tweeted from the White House.

Yet the White House is returning the Democrats’ insults.

Repeatedly pressed on why the president seemed unwilling to multitask and work on legislation as other presidents under investigation have, Sanders maintained, “I think the Democrats have shown that they’re not capable of doing anything else.”

In fact, the Democratic-controlled House has passed several bills on issues including firearms background checks, prescription drugs and campaign finance reforms — though they were dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Sanders insisted that Trump’s walk-out Wednesday wasn’t planned before Pelosi’s comments and that the White House placard that appeared on Trump’s lectern as he denounced Democrats moments later had been printed “weeks ago.” Asked why Trump couldn’t work with Democrats after Pelosi’s comments because he felt insulted, Sanders said, “The president’s feelings weren’t hurt. She accused him of a crime. Let that sink in.”

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Associated Press Writers Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

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Follow Kellman and Miller on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman and http://www.twitter.com/ZekeJMiller .

Rep. Steve Cohen, Tenn., on Thursday said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Democrat, is unpatriotic for not beginning the process to impeach President Trump.

“Well she needs to do what’s right. She says that she’s doing this because of patriotism, not politics,” Cohen told CNN’s Poppy Harlow.

“It’s hard to see that. I mean, patriotism would say jump into hell for a heavenly cause. And the fact is when you have a Constitution and you have a rule of law, and it’s being destroyed in a reckless gangster manner, you need to act. I think the — the only — the only reason not to act is because of politics,” he said.

“Wait, wait, wait. I mean, you’re saying, it sounds like you’re saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not being patriotic. Is that right?” Harlow asked.

Cohen replied, “Not necessarily. I think, you know, you can be patriotic in different ways. But if — if you going to say whether going for impeachment is patriotic or not going for impeachment is patriotic, I think going for impeachment is, when you see it laid out before you. And I see that.”

He said he did not want to “get into it with Nancy” because of their working relationship, but he said Trump needs to impeached because “I think it will be the best thing for the country and the best thing for the Democrats both.”

[Related: Pelosi: Trump stormed out of White House meeting because he wanted impeachment]

In a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi said House Democrats are not on the path towards impeachment, despite Trump wanting them to do so.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that President Trump wants to be impeached is nonsense.

“When she says the president wants to be impeached. I don’t buy that. When she says her caucus is not divided. I don’t buy that. She’s either delusional or misrepresenting where her caucus really is,” the South Carolina Republican told reporters on Thursday.

[Opinion: It feels like Trump wants impeachment much more than Pelosi]

Pelosi said Trump abruptly walked out of a White House meeting Wednesday on infrastructure because he was frustrated Democrats were not planning to impeach him. “The White House is just crying out for impeachment,” the California Democrat said during a press conference. “That’s why he flipped yesterday.”

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., told MSNBC this week that 80% to 90% of the House Judiciary Committee Democrats are ready to begin an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Graham said this shows Democrats are “hell-bent” on impeaching Trump regardless of what leadership says.


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