President Donald Trump on Friday afternoon met with House Republicans at the White House during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re at a position where we have to start all over again, and we will start all over again, and we will build something that was even better than we had before,” Trump said.
The president, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and several Republican members of Congress met in the State Dining Room of the White House on Friday afternoon, carefully spaced six feet apart.
House Republicans praised Trump’s handling of the virus, noting that he was right to shift to reopening the country as quickly as possible.
They also mocked Democrats for refusing to return to work in Washington, DC, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) delayed reopening the House of Representatives.
“The Democrats are cowering at home right now. And it makes no sense because we’ve learned so much,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said.
Nunes pointed to the meatpackers and the grocery store employees that continued to go to work to keep the national food supply chain going.
“If we expect them to go to work, we ought to go to work as members of Congress,” he said.
He singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) for mockery, noting that he acted so “aggrieved” despite getting caught for perpetrating the Russia “hoax.”
“Shifty Schiff, nine inches around the neck,” Trump said. “And I watched this guy — uses the world’s smallest collar, right?”
Trump also thanked Republicans for fighting against the Russia hoax, which resulted in the ultimate exoneration against Gen. Mike Flynn.
He singled out Nunes for praise.
“I have to say that Devin was incredible. He understood it. He understood that it was a hoax before anybody else knew what was happening,” Trump said.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) warned his fellow Republicans that despite their victory in the Russia probe, the Democrats would continue to attack the president.
“We just need to understand, guys, that they’re never going to stop,” he said.
Trump noted that he was working well with Democrat governors but that Democrats in Congress had no interest in unity to fight the coronavirus.
“You can’t work with these people. I think they’re stone-cold crazy,” he said.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) expressed his sadness that Pelosi was using her power to attack Republicans and the president during the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re all here in the same foxhole with you, with our rifles pointed in the same direction,” Zeldin said. “But unfortunately, while you recognize that the enemy is coronavirus, the speaker believes that the enemy is you.”
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) mocked the media for criticizing Republicans for failing to wear masks at the meeting, reminding them that they had all been tested for the virus.
“The only reason we would wear masks is if we were trying to protect ourselves from you, in the media,” he said to the reporters in the room. “And we’re not scared of you. So that’s why we can be here like this.”