WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed again Thursday after Pelosi called for Trump’s family to conduct “an intervention” with him for the good of the country and he responded by calling her “crazy Nancy” and a “mess.”
A day after Trump abruptly walked out of a meeting on infrastructure and said he would not work with Democrats on bipartisan measures until they ended their “phony investigations” into him, Pelosi questioned his competence and fitness for office.
Accusing Trump of throwing a “temper tantrum” to end the meeting, Pelosi said, “I pray for the President of the United States. I wish his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.”
Pelosi said she had concerns about Trump’s well-being, adding, “Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence.”
Trump, at an afternoon news conference, responded by saying, “I have been watching her for a addedlong period of time. She’s not the same person. She’s lost it.” Later he added, “I haven’t changed very much, been very consistent. I am an extremely stable genius.”
In a tweet, Pelosi replied, “When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues.”
Pelosi and Trump traded barbs as House Democrats racked up successes in some of the nearly dozen investigations into Trump and his administration amid growing discussion of opening an impeachment inquiry ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Pelosi said Thursday the White House is “crying out for impeachment” — which Trump thinks could help him politically with this base. The Speaker described the president as “disappointed” Wednesday “because he didn’t see this rush to impeachment coming out of our caucus” in a meeting earlier that day.
Asked at his event if he wants to be impeached, Trump said, “I don’t think anybody wants to be impeached.”
After Trump scrapped the meeting Wednesday, he went to the Rose Garden to blame Pelosi because she had accused him of a “cover-up” by refusing to cooperate with the nearly dozen House Democratic investigations into him, his finances and his administration.
Pelosi said Trump pounded the table and “stormed out,” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) offered a similar description.
Trump denied that, accusing “crying Chuck, crazy Nancy” of making it up. At his news conference, he called on his aides who had been in the room Wednesday to testify that he was calm and simply walked out.
The Wednesday meeting had been set up so Trump could propose ways to pay for the $2 trillion in infrastructure improvements he agreed to three weeks earlier in a session with Pelosi and Schumer. But he offered no proposal.
“I can only think that he wasn’t up to the task of figuring out the difficult choices of how to cover the cost of what the important infrastructure legislation that we had talked about the weeks before,” Pelosi said Thursday, questioning the president’s competence.
Trump responded to that taunt with his own disparaging of her competence while urging the House to take up the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade bill to replace NAFTA.
“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi understands the deal. It’s too complicated but it’s not a complicated deal,” he said, adding later, “I don’t think she’s capable right now of understanding it. I think she’s got a lot of problems.”
Looming amid the verbal clashes is important legislation, including raising the debt ceiling to avoid defaulting on payments and approving appropriations to keep the government running, among others.
Pelosi said lawmakers, if left to themselves, would be able to work out a compromise.
But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders put the blame on Democrats.
“It’s the Democrats that don’t want to do anything,” she said. “The only thing they want to do is focus on attacking this president and trying to delegitimize his presidency.”