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Pelosi: Trump asked me, ‘Can we work something out?’ over whistleblower tangle

(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly claimed that, before she launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump late Thursday afternoon, the president allegedly asked her to essentially let him off the hook.

The claim was shared early Tuesday evening my NBC “journalist” Heidi Przybyla.

During a panel discussion on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” she said that she’d had a chance to read the transcript of a closed-door meeting Pelosi had held earlier that day with her fellow congressional Democrats about potentially impeaching the president.

During that meeting, the House speaker claimed that the president had begged her during a phone call earlier that morning to drop a potential push for impeachment.

“I got a readout on [the closed-door meeting] — that the president actually said to Nancy Pelosi, ‘Hey can we do something about this whistleblower complaint? Can we work something out?’ And she said ‘Yes, you can tell your people to obey the law,'” Przybyla reported.  “So she quickly swatted that down and made it clear that it is full steam ahead.”

Listen to her full report below:


(Source: MSNBC)

Is any of this true, though? While there’s no reason to doubt Przybyla’s reporting, there are plenty of reasons to question the legitimacy of Pelosi’s claim.

For one, the president has argued publicly that impeachment proceedings would only help him going into the 2020 presidential election.

“The country’s doing the best it’s ever done, and I just heard [Pelosi] would like to impeach,” he said during a news briefing at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. “If she does that, they all say that’s a positive for me in the election.”

This belief is likely based on the fact that a majority of Americans oppose impeachment. Even in the face of the “whistleblower scandal” non-scandal, Americans still oppose it, in fact.

“[A] POLITICO/Morning Consult poll — conducted before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement on Tuesday that Democrats will pursue an impeachment inquiry — found that a plurality of registered voters still opposed impeachment, with little sign of movement toward supporting such steps,” Politico reported early Wednesday morning.

“In the poll — conducted Friday through Sunday, as stories circled about Trump allegedly pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the Democratic candidates hoping to oust him — 36 percent of respondents said they believe Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. Support for impeachment is down a tick from 37 percent last week. Nearly half of respondents, 49 percent, said Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings.”

(Source: Politico)

Another factor to consider is Pelosi and her peers’ track records of distorting the facts. Flashback to January. Following a closed-door meeting about the border crisis at the time between the president, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Pelosi, both Democrats claimed that the president had had a “temper tantrum” and refused to negotiate with them.

But this claim was quickly refuted by then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“I want to turn the floor over, the president said, to Speaker Pelosi and Schumer,” the House minority leader recalled. “Tell us what offer you have. … She began to argue whether we even had a crisis or whether facts are true. [She] turned to Schumer, again, who said, ‘we just have to open the government up.’ The president would go back and forth in a negotiation, in a very respectful way.”

“The president then turned to the speaker and politely asked her, ‘OK, Nancy, if we open the government up in 30 days, could we have border security?’ She raised her hand and said no, not at all. The president calmly said, ‘I guess you’re still not wanting to deal with the problem.'”

Only about a week later that very same month, Pelosi lied again by claiming that the White House had purposefully leaked the Democrats’ travel plans and thus put their lives at risk.

The lie was shared by Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill, around the time that the government was still in a shutdown.

The tweets attracted a lot of criticism for two reasons. One, many felt that Pelosi and her peers should have remained in the U.S. to resolve the government shutdown. And second, the claim that the administration had “leaked” the flight’s details was a “flat out lie,” according to the White House.

“When the Speaker of the House and about 20 others from Capitol Hill decide to book their own commercial flights to Afghanistan, the world is going to find out. The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat out lie,” a senior White House official said at the time.

Vivek Saxena

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