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Trump blasts Dems from Rose Garden after abruptly ending infrastructure talks
Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com
President Donald Trump ripped the Democrats at a spontaneous press conference Wednesday, just moments after he walked out of a meeting on infrastructure with Nancy Pelosi.
Trump walked out after Pelosi (D-CA) accused him of a criminal “cover-up” that morning. Speaking in the Rose Garden, Trump excoriated the Democrats’ conduct and demanded an end to their “phony” investigations before negotiations continue.
“You can’t do it under these circumstances,” Trump said. “Get these phony investigations over with.”
Trump hits out at Dems
Speaking at a podium decorated with a sign that read, “No collusion” and “no obstruction,” Trump blasted the Democrats’ endless investigations and recounted the comprehensive scope of Robert Mueller’s probe. The sign read like shorthand for a Trump tweet: “Mueller investigation by the numbers: $35 million spent, 2,800 subpoenas, 675 days, 500+ witnesses, 18 Angry Democrats.”
— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) May 22, 2019
Pelosi accused Trump of a “cover-up” that morning after a meeting with Democrats to discuss impeachment. Trump said that he came prepared to work for the American people, but instead of “walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up.”
“I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump said. “No collusion, no obstruction, no nothing.”
The infrastructure meeting was a rare opportunity for bipartisanship as the Democrats, refusing to let go of impeachment hysteria, have taken investigations of Trump into their own hands. Declaring a “constitutional crisis,” Democrats have inched closer to impeachment as the White House blocks their subpoenas for Trump’s financial records, the unredacted Mueller report and other documents, as well as witness testimony from Trump administration officials.
Trump called on Democrats to end their “phony” investigations before infrastructure talks continue, saying the Democrats could solve the border crisis in “15 minutes” and lower drug prices if they were willing to work for the American people: “You can go down the investigation track, and you can go down the track of…let’s get things done for the American people.”
Blasts press, Dems, Russia probe
Referring to impeachment as “the ‘I’ word,” Trump said he was upset to learn that Pelosi — just shortly before she was to meet with him to talk infrastructure — was huddling with her caucus to discuss the topic. Trump also riffed on the Russia probe, repeatedly declaring “no collusion, no obstruction” and warning, “we’ll see” how things turn out for the opposition amid a review of the origins of that probe by Attorney General William Barr.
“The crime was committed on the other side. This whole thing was a takedown attempt at the president of the United States,” Trump said. He went on to blast reporters in the Rose Garden for their dishonest coverage of the Russia story, chiding: “Honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for the way you reported so dishonestly.”
Citing a Wall Street Journal article that said that Mueller’s investigation was not obstructed, Trump said that he has been transparent in every way and blasted the Democrats’ partisan investigations as an attempt at a do-over after Mueller failed to deliver a smoking gun. With collusion receding into the past, more and more Democrats are calling for Trump’s impeachment over Trump’s refusal to cooperate with their probes.
Democrats have said that their investigations are within their constitutional oversight powers and that Trump is attacking the rule of law. Asked by a reporter if he respects Congress as equal, Trump said he did, but they were “abusing” their oversight power to continue pursuing him on a partisan witch hunt.
Trump bashes “do nothing” party
Democrats rushed to pin the blame on Trump for the infrastructure fallout Wednesday, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) accusing Trump of staging a political “stunt.” Pointing to the “no collusion” signs, Schumer said that Trump showed up to the meeting with no intention of working with Democrats.
“We are interested in doing infrastructure,” the Senate minority leader said. “It’s clear the president isn’t. He is looking for every excuse.”
Pelosi’s “cover-up” remark came after former White House counsel Donald McGahn skipped congressional testimony this week on Trump’s orders. The speaker has struggled to keep impeachment talk under control in recent days, even while continuing to accuse Trump of obstruction of justice.
Pelosi urged Trump’s family Thursday to stage an “intervention” for Trump, who she said had thrown a “temper tantrum” the day earlier.
Trump continued to bash the Democrats as the “DO NOTHING” party on Twitter on Thursday, further asserting: “All they are geared up to do, six committees, is squander time, day after day, trying to find anything which will be bad for me. A pure fishing expedition like this never happened before, & it should never happen again!”
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