Pelosi Goes on Offensive to Rebut Trump Speech, Warn of Threats
(Bloomberg) -- A fiery House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went on the offensive Thursday to push back on Donald Trump’s claims during his State of the Union address and warn the president against threatening Democrats.
Her spirited press conference the day after the Senate acquitted Trump of the House’s impeachment charges was an extension of her decision to rip up her copy of the president’s State of the Union speech Tuesday. She defended her action, saying the president lied about his record on health care and former President Barack Obama’s economic achievements.
Pelosi said Tuesday’s speech was more like a reality show that showcased Trump’s “state of mind.”
“He shredded the truth in his speech, he is shredding the Constitution in his conduct, so I shredded his state of the mind address,” Pelosi said. “It was necessary to get the attention of the American people that this was not true.”
The deepening feud between Pelosi and Trump will be an undercurrent in November’s elections as the president claims full vindication after the Senate found him not guilty of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.
Pelosi repeated her point that Trump will be “impeached forever,” after the Democratic-led House charged him with two articles in December.
“History will always record you were impeached,” Pelosi said. “You are never getting rid of that scar.”
The speaker also warned that Trump and his aides should “rein in their comments” when asked about a suspicious substance found Thursday near the office of Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.
U.S. Capitol Police warned staff and other personnel to avoid the area near Schiff’s office on Thursday while authorities were investigating. They later gave an all-clear. Schiff has been targeted constantly by conservative media, Trump’s allies and the president on Twitter for his role in the impeachment process.
“I do think they should rein in their comments,” Pelosi said when asked whether White House comments might incite threats to Democrats. “They are saying there should be payback to us for upholding our oath to the Constitution.”
Her answer alluded to Wednesday’s statement from White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham who said Schiff “lied to Congress and the American people.” Grisham’s statement went on to ask: “Will there be no retribution?”
Pelosi cited other examples in which Trump’s followers appeared to act on some of the grievances he airs publicly, including a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“They have to know that when the White House speaks, those words weigh a ton,” Pelosi said.
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