A day after walking out of a scheduled meeting with Democrats to discuss infrastructure funding, President Donald Trump continued his attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), attempting once again to shift focus to Democrats amid his own efforts to disrupt multiple investigations into himself and his business entities.
Trump first escalated his battle with Democrats on Wednesday, blaming his decision to storm out of a meeting on Pelosi’s comment earlier in the day that he was “engaged in a cover-up.” The President held a press conference to tell Democrats he would not work with them until they stopped investigating him.
During another press conference announcing farmers affected by his trade war on Thursday, Trump ramped up his attacks on Pelosi.
“She’s lost it,” he said, setting the tone for much of his commentary about the Democratic leader.
Trump first lashed out at Pelosi during a comment about his update to NAFTA that must still be approved by Congress, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.
“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi understands the deal, it’s too complicated, but it’s not a complicated deal,” he said.
Asked later by a reporter about Pelosi, Trump said, “She’s a mess. She doesn’t understand it. They sort of feel she’s disintegrating before their eyes. She doesn’t understand it.” He added later on: “Whether or not Pelosi understands it— I don’t think she’s capable right now of understanding it. I think she’s got a lot of problems.”
Trump did not discuss specifics. And in fact, Pelosi addressed her concerns the deal a long time ago, and despite discussions with the administration, it appears she doesn’t yet support the trade deal.
For Trump on Thursday, the details of the deal seemed hardly the point: He was angry at Pelosi, and wanted to talk about it. Enlisting several of his aides in the room to testify that he was not, in fact, raging mad when he confronted congressional Democrats Wednesday, he aired his grievances a second time.
“You all saw me minutes later,” he told reporters. “I was at a news conference. I was extremely calm. I was probably even more so in that room. So I walked into the Cabinet room. You had the group, Crying Chuck, Crazy Nancy.”
Trump asked Kellyanne Conway to confirm his mood in the room the previous day.
“Very calm,” she responded. “No tamper tantrum.”
“Do they have it on tape someplace?” Trump asked.
”Sure,” Conway responded.
“Good,” Trump responded. “That’d be good.”
He returned to a near-constant preoccupation: Democrats’ investigations. (Not long after his Wednesday press conference, a federal judge in New York said that the argument from Trump’s attorneys to shield his financial records from a congressional subpoena was not “serious.”)
“You shouldn’t go down two tracks at the same time,” he said, again referring to investigations and legislation. “Because they can’t. The whole Democrat Party is very messed up.”
Pelosi, he said, “is a mess.”
The White House did not respond to TPM’s request for a copy of the tape Trump referenced.