March 01, 2017
The top Democrat leaders in Congress condemned the presidency of Donald Trump on Tuesday at a National Press Club Forum, where they hinted they might eventually seek to impeach him and they predicted his address to the House and Senate on Tuesday would be full of empty promises.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Trump has misled the public to a degree that “there are plenty of grounds right now for the current president” to be impeached. But the public is not fully on board yet, Pelosi said, because “many of the president’s supporters are not ready to accept the fact that their judgement may not have been so great in voting for him.”
Pelosi said by the time the case is made for impeachment, “perhaps they will be ready to accept that.”
She added, “It’s very hard, impeachment.”
Pelosi appeared alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., where the two eviscerated Trump’s first month in office, and compared it unfavorably to President Obama’s quick passage of a $1 trillion stimulus bill shortly after he became president in 2009. They also downplayed Trump’s planned joint address on Tuesday night as, essentially, a big lie.
“It will be the usual bluster and blame,” predicted Schumer. “Populist platitudes will be a dime a dozen, but the focus should be on the president’s actions rather than his empty words.”
Schumer and Pelosi accused Trump of formulating an agenda to benefit the rich at the expense of the working class.
Earlier Monday, the White House signaled it would propose a budget that increases defense spending by $54 billion and makes cuts in domestic spending to make up the difference.
Pelosi suggested Republicans would simply make a 10 percent cut across the entire budget, which isn’t likely. Such a move, Pelosi calculated, would result in cuts to job training, the National Institutes of Health and early childhood education, among other vital programs.
She took another jab at Trump’s competency in running the country.
“I don’t even know if the President understands the ramifications of the cuts that he is proposing,” Pelosi said.
Democrats and Republicans have in the past agreed to equal spending on both the domestic and defense budgets, Pelosi said.
“We have to see more about this budget but hopefully it will honor the 50-50 we had before,” Pelosi said. “Any cuts had to be shared equally.”
A reporter asked Pelosi why she has not called for impeachment proceedings against Trump when some scholars have suggested there is enough evidence to begin the Congressional process of ousting a president. Democrats want an independent commission to be appointed to investigate Trump’s so-called connections with the Russian government, though the FBI has found no direct link.
Pelosi said she “never recovered with the left on this subject for not impeaching President Bush,” over the war in Iraq.
She said even though she is not currently demanding impeachment of Trump, “that doesn’t mean nobody is listening to the cases being made, in a very scientific and methodical way, as to whether there are grounds for impeachment.”