Pelosi Discusses Ocasio-Cortez Meeting and Trump Impeachment
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she met privately with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday to “clear the air” after a very public beef between two of the most vocal Democrats in the House.
Pelosi emerged from the 30-minute closed-door meeting dismissing the notion there are tensions between them. They also posed for a photo together that Pelosi posted on Twitter, saying they met to “discuss working together to meet the needs of our districts and our country, fairness in our economy and diversity in our country.”
Pelosi later told reporters that she didn’t think there was any “hatchet” to bury with the New York congresswoman.
“I don’t think we have that many differences. We had a nice meeting,” Pelosi said. “We had a nice meeting.”
Ocasio-Cortez didn’t speak to reporters after the meeting.
The meeting came after Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez exchanged words earlier this month after the speaker downplayed how much influence and attention Ocasio-Cortez and three other first-year congresswomen of color, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, collectively known as “The Squad,” are having on Capitol Hill.
The drama unfolded between Pelosi and the progressive-thinking congresswomen when the speaker gave harsh remarks about them to the New York Times after a battle over a contentious border aide bill that was debated internally became public late last month.
“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said.”But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”
The congresswomen, naturally, took out their frustrations on Twitter, with Ocasio-Cortez’s comments drawing significant attention.
“Those aren’t quotes from me; they’re from the Speaker. Having respect for ourselves doesn’t mean we lack respect for her,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “It means we won’t let everyday people be dismissed.”
Tensions further arose after Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff questioned Pelosi’s leadership in a tweetstorm.
But Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar, and Tlaib seemingly banded together two weeks ago after President Donald Trump took shots at the congresswomen with comments widely seen as racist saying that they weren’t born in America and said, “they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Pelosi came to the defense of the congresswomen, who said that they “will not be silenced.”
Pelosi on Impeaching Trump
Also Friday, Pelosi said that she is “not trying to run out the clock” on impeaching Trump. She said any process will be deliberate and with the strongest hand possible, despite continuing criticism from nearly 100 Democrats calling for an immediate impeachment inquiry. The Dems are seeking a probe after former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress on Wednesday. Mueller testified that Trump could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice crimes after he leaves the presidency.
“Let’s get sophisticated about this, OK?” Pelosi told reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill. “We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed, not one day sooner.
“Everybody has the liberty and the luxury to espouse their own position and to criticize me for trying to go down the path in the most determined positive way.”
Pelosi also said she is willing to take “whatever heat” there is from those wanting impeachment proceedings. She said any decision will be made in a timely manner when they have a “best strongest” possible case.
“Their advocacy for impeachment only gives me leverage,” she said. “I have no complaint with what they are doing.
“This isn’t endless,” she said. “It may be endless in terms of the violations of the law that the president is engaged in. But that’s what I say to you.”