House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused Sunday to condemn a sexist joke by a Democratic House colleague about Kellyanne Conway, President Donald Trump’s campaign manager and White House counselor.
Pelosi, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper, cited the Access Hollywood video that emerged during the presidential campaign last October as a reason for her refusal. That video, filmed in 2005, recorded Trump making crude comments about women in a hot mic, off-camera conversation with host Billy Bush.
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) had joked that Conway looked “familiar in that position” when a photograph emerged of her on her knees on a couch in the Oval Office.
Tapper asked Pelosi to respond:
Tapper: I need to ask about this crew joke that was told this week a by a member of your caucus, a Democratic congressman, Cedric Richmond at the Washington Press Club foundation annual dinner, at the expense of White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway. Take a listen.
Richmond (on tape): And you can just explain to me that, that circumstance, because she really looked kind of familiar in that position there.
Tapper: Leader Pelosi, the joke was sexist, it was disgusting. Shouldn’t the congressman apologize to Kellyanne Conway? And, honestly, where is the Democratic Party in expressing outrage about this?
Pelosi: I wasn’t at the dinner. I’m just finding out about this. The fact is, I’m still in sort of a state of “What is going on here?” that the person who occupies the White House is a person who was on that Hollywood video, that said the crude things he says about women. You all are criticizing Cedric for something he said in the course of the evening — and he maybe should be criticized for that, I just don’t know the particulars. But I do, every day, marvel at the fact that somebody who said the gross and crude things that President Trump said — he wouldn’t even be allowed in a frat house, and he’s in the White House.
Tapper: Well, I think we’ve been covered the Access Hollywood tape quite a bit, but I guess the question is: if one criticizes only Republicans when they make crude comments, does that not undermine the moral authority if they don’t criticize when Democrats make crude comments?
Pelosi: Well, I think everybody was making crude comments, and I just don’t know, I wasn’t at that dinner. But I was at the dinner last night at the Gridiron Club, and we were all, I think, quite, shall we say, respectable. I’ll look at what my colleague said there, but I do think that in the Oval Office we were always, always with decorum appropriate for the White House.
Richmond’s joke caused such outrage that even Chelsea Clinton defended Kellyanne Conway, but Pelosi evidently will not.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.