Despite her last comments and stance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now saying that impeaching President Trump is “just not worth it”.
ancy Pelosi stands up in her spacious office in the U.S. Capitol, walks past an enormous window with a commanding view of the Mall and the Washington Monument, and picks up a small plaque from her desk. A gift from Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), the plaque has the familiar profile of a young Abraham Lincoln on one side. Pelosi returns to her chair holding the plaque on her palm and reads a quote from Lincoln etched on the reverse side: “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”
Pelosi, 78, never thought that Donald Trump would be elected president, but in many ways she has been preparing for this political battle all of her life. First elected to Congress in a special election in 1987 and now in her 17th term, she is experienced in all of Washington’s various forms of combat, power and perseverance. She is the first woman to lead a political party in Congress and, in 2007, was the first woman to become speaker of the House. After Democrats won control of the House in November following eight years out of power, Pelosi fended off an effort by some in her party to replace her, and reclaimed the speakership.
Now in her fourth decade as an elected representative, Pelosi is at the outset of a term that will almost certainly be the most critical of her career. I spoke with her last week about her relationship with Trump, the rise of a new generation of women lawmakers, the Green New Deal, the prospect of impeachment and more.
How would you describe your relationship with the president?
Is there a relationship? [Laughs.] How would I describe my relationship to the president? My relationship toward him is respectful, respectful of the office that he holds. Straightforward, just tell him what I think. And I always say you’re not going to hear me saying anything publicly that I’m not saying here in the office. Hopeful that at some point we can find common ground that he’ll stick to. So, yeah, respectful, honest and hopeful.
Do you feel that he has done anything that has been good for America?
He’s been a great organizer for Democrats, a great fundraiser for Democrats and a great mobilizer at the grass-roots level for Democrats. [Laughs.] And I think that’s good for America.
There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.
I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.
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