On the same day that the House adjourned for a six-week summer recess, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doubled down on the conspiracy theory that Russian President Vladimir Putin is using political, financial and/or personal information to blackmail President Donald Trump into doing his bidding.
She made the astonishing remarks while being questioned by Fox News investigative producer Alex Pfeiffer about whether she still believes — as she’d tweeted half a year earlier — that Putin may have something “politically, personally or financially” on the president.
.@realDonaldTrump’s continued efforts to undermine Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation raises the questions:
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 26, 2019
What does Putin have on @realDonaldTrump, politically, personally or financially?
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 26, 2019
Her exchange with Pfeiffer went as follows:
- Pfeiffer: “Speaker Pelosi … In January you wondered what Putin had on Trump. After yesterday are you getting closer to finding that out?”
- Pelosi: “We have it in the courts right now…”
- Pfeiffer: “Are you any closer to figuring out what Putin has on Trump?”
- Pelosi: “That’s why we — they need to answer our subpoena.”
- Pfeiffer: “Do you still think Putin might have some blackmail on the president?”
- Pelosi: “I wonder what Putin has politically, financially or personally.“
Meanwhile, following former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday, various congressional Democrats issued statements to the press suggesting that the president is a villain of mass proportions.
Yet as noted earlier, late Thursday evening Democrats formally adjourned their current session a day earlier than expected (the recess had originally been scheduled to begin Friday) to return home to their districts and relax for six weeks. The dichotomy between their alarmist rhetoric and their actions seemed odd, according to National Review contributor Jim Geraghty.
“If you really believe that Trump is an ‘unpatriotic,’ ‘totalitarian,’ ‘disloyal,’ ‘dictatorial’ ‘great danger’ who is ‘betraying’ the country with a ‘massive coverup’… why are you going back home for the rest of the summer?” he wondered in a piece published Thursday.
“Where’s your sense of urgency? I can hear the argument that members need to go home and make the case for impeachment in their districts, but from the way the Democrats describe Trump, his menace is obvious. If the country really is in the grips of a dictatorial madman, why are you leaving Washington until September 9?”
And why is Pelosi likewise refusing calls to impeach the president?
“Following back-to-back hearings Wednesday afternoon, Pelosi shot down [House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry] Nadler’s call to begin drafting articles of impeachment … with the House Speaker calling such a move ‘premature,'” Vanity Fair has confirmed. “At a subsequent caucus meeting, she continued to advocate for a ‘slow, methodical’ approach to holding Trump accountable.”
What explains the House speaker accusing the president of being Putin’s puppet one minute, and then turning around and saying “meh, it’s not time for impeachment” the next? Speaking later Thursday evening on Fox News, network host Tucker Carlson posited a possible answer.
“How does that make sense?” he asked rhetorically. “Well, it only makes sense when you understand that Pelosi doesn’t mean a single word that she says. Everything is political, meaning it’s only about power. That’s not just annoying; it’s also ominous, and here’s why.”
Listen via FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight“:
Carlson went on to recount how “thousands of American troops died” and “trillions of dollars were wasted” over the Iraq War, a conflict that was also predicated on a lie.
“Fifteen years ago this spring, we invaded Iraq to stop a WMD program that didn’t exist. … It was the single greatest mistake in this country in generations, and yet — and here’s the key — nobody in Washington was ever punished for it. The people who planned it went on to even better jobs,” he said.
“Five years after the Iraq War, our economy collapsed. Remember that, the subprime meltdown? The specific causes were complex, but the themes were instantly recognizable: The greed and stupidity. And yet, once again, no one was ever punished.”
“Now, fast forward another 11 years to today, right now. America stands on the brink of yet more foolish foreign entanglements and on the break of potentially another financial meltdown. Why is that? Because nobody in Washington has learned anything. And why would they learn anything? When they screw up, there are never any consequences. They skate by on the usual mixture of aggression and BS. Nothing to see here. Keep moving.”
So what’s the solution to stop these lies? Penance, Carlson argued.
“Imagine for a second what would happen if you let your kids act like that. Well, they’d be in prison by now. So, maybe it’s time to stop the cycle in Washington?” he said.
“How about this. If you get caught lying about the big things — whether it’s about weapons of mass destruction or subprime mortgages or Russian collusion — you have to admit it and serve penance.”
“Not necessarily prison time, though we’re open, but punishment of some kind. You can’t stay in Washington making six times the average American salary. No, sorry, you’ve got to leave. You’ve got to relocate … and do something useful like clean hotel rooms for minimum wage. … Not forever. Just for a decade or too, til you’ve learned your lesson.”
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