President Donald Trump’s meeting with Congressional Democrats blew up on Wednesday, just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi floated impeachment proceedings against the president.
Pelosi met with House Democrats on Wednesday morning, hearing demands from members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that she begin impeachment proceedings against the president.
Pelosi and her allies have previously argued against impeachment, noting that it would be politically devastating in 2020 unless they have an ironclad case. But it was clear her caucus was losing patience, especially top Democrat leaders who were going to the White House to try to work with the president on infrastructure.
By the end of the meeting, it was clear Pelosi was more concerned about caucus unity over infrastructure.
“We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States,” Pelosi told reporters after the meeting. “And we believe that the president of the United States has engaged in a cover-up.”
When Democrats arrived at the White House, they found Trump incensed at Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer after it was clear they were more interested in investigations and impeachment than infrastructure.
The president gave them a choice: Either work with me on infrastructure and drop your phony investigations, or we’re finished.
“I walked into the room and told Senator 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,” Trump said. “But, you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So, get these phony investigations over with.”
Schumer appeared upset by what Trump said.
“To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop,” Schumer told reporters about Trump’s conversation with them.
Speaking with reporters in the Rose Garden after the meeting, Trump scoffed at the idea that there was a “cover-up,” pointing to his cooperation with and the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that found no collusion with Russia and no obstruction.
“They want to make this a big deal, whether or not they carry the big ‘I’ word out. I can’t imagine that, but they probably would because it will do whatever they have to do,” he said.