President Trump stormed out of infrastructure talks with Democratic congressional leaders Wednesday, railing against House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that he is “engaged in a cover-up.”
“I don’t do cover ups,” the president told reporters in the White House Rose Garden. “I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. I’d be really good at that. That’s what I do. But you know what, you can’t do it under these circumstances.’”
“Get these phony investigations over with,” Trump added. “I’ve said from the beginning that you probably can’t go down two tracks. You can go down the investigation track or you can go down the investment track.”
The president’s ire was piqued by a meeting of the House Democratic caucus earlier Wednesday, in which members discussed the possibility of impeaching him.
During the closed-door meeting, Pelosi reportedly clashed with rank-and-file members who are upping the pressure on her to begin impeachment proceedings against the president. She was said to have argued that most of the party is against impeachment, a divisive and cumbersome process, as well as a political risk for Democrats. But she emerged from the meeting with harsh words for the president.
“We believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,” Pelosi said told reporters afterward. “We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.”
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer accused Trump of planning the dramatic exit from the infrastructure meeting.
“To watch what happened in the White House would make your draw drop,” Schumer said back on Capitol Hill. “It’s clear this was not a spontaneous move on the president’s part. It was planned.”