House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was featured Sunday night on 60 Minutes, given a platform to react to the U.S. Capitol being breached last week in a protest that got out of hand, as host Leslie Stahl made it a point to say the Trump supporters were coming for the speaker.
Stahl’s demeanor was far less contentious than her last interview with President Trump, but the veteran journalist surprisingly asked Pelosi about her long holdout on pandemic relief efforts — though she did tread gently. She also drew a sharp response from Pelosi when mentioning Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Of course, mentioning the speaker’s age might have irked the Democratic lawmaker, as Stahl asked: “You’re 80, your number two, Steny Hoyer’s 81. Your number three, Jim Clyburn, is 80. Why haven’t you brought young people into the leadership?”
“Because we have,” Pelosi replied quickly. “You perhaps don’t know.”
Lesley Stahl: Why does AOC complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) January 11, 2021
Stahl then asked why AOC complained that she wasn’t grooming younger people for leadership?
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her—because we are,” the speaker shot back.
“That was kind of sharp, kind of dismissing her,” Stahl observed.
“I’m not dismissing her. I respect her. I think she’s very effective as are other — many other members in our caucus that the press doesn’t pay attention to,” Pelosi said. “But they are there and they are building support for what comes next.”
Stahl and Pelosi toured the Capitol and showed some damage done by the protesters, as the speaker recounted the moment Capitol Police told her she must leave the House chamber.
As Stahl detailed the “shocking scenes,” Pelosi tried her best to summon tears, but the well was dry.
Blaming Trump for the protesters’ actions, she said the breach was a “terrible, terrible violation of the Capitol, of the first branch of government, of the legislative branch, by the President of the United States.”
Not only did 60 Minutes allow Pelosi to give voice to a narrative that may very well be used to impeach Trump, CBS News made it personal when Stahl claimed that the protesters were coming for her.
“The FBI Is investigating whether any of the agitators, some seen in ballistic vests, with zip-ties, intended to kidnap or kill legislators or their staffers. They were coming to find you. I—maybe to hurt you, I don’t know,” she said.
“The evidence is now that it was a well-planned, organized group with leadership and guidance and direction,” Pelosi said, in response to the setup. “And the direction was to go get people — they were vocally saying, ‘Where’s the speaker? We know she has staff. They’re here someplace. We’re going to find them.'”
There was also an interesting moment when Stahl pressed Pelosi on pandemic relief.
Ironically, Pelosi would push back when Stahl said she’s not known as a person who compromises, claiming that is not true; claiming Republicans say that as a tactic.
After being asked about the COVID-19 relief package being held up for eight months, Pelosi also blamed this on the GOP, and when Stahl tried to suggest that she played a hand here too, she said of her tactic, “No, it wasn’t obstruction.”
“You held out for eight months,” Stahl pressed.
After then admitting she did hold it up, Pelosi tried to spew talking points about “no respect for our heroes.”
“No, no. We held it up because there was no respect for our heroes,” she claimed. “Our state and local health-care workers, police and fire, first responders, our sanitation, transportation, food-workers, our teachers, our teachers, our teachers. They would not go down that path.”
She was adamant that holding desperately-needed relief from the American people for eight months “wasn’t a mistake.”
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