President Donald Trump said last week that talks would not continue until Democratic lawmakers “get these phony investigations over with.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday she feels “optimistic” about an infrastructure package despite President Donald Trump saying last week talks wouldn’t resume until investigations into his administration are finished.
Pelosi said the president has expressed interest in working on infrastructure in most of their past conversations.
“Does he want to do it enough to not be in a huff over my saying that he’s involved in a cover-up? Well we’ll see,” she said during an event hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California. “This is not for the faint of heart. I mean either you want to do it or you don’t want to do it and you shouldn’t be offended by somebody speaking truth about your actions.”
President Trump abruptly ended a meeting last week with congressional Democrats after Pelosi said earlier in the day he was “engaged in a cover-up.” They were scheduled to hold a second round of infrastructure talks after agreeing to aim for a $2 trillion package in April.
The president told reporters that he told the Democratic lawmakers to “get these phony investigations over with” before talks could continue about infrastructure.
“I’ve said from the beginning — right from the beginning — that you probably can’t go down two tracks,” Trump said to reporters in the Rose Garden last week following the meeting. “You can go down the investigation and you can go down the investment track or the track of let’s get things done for the American people.”
The Commonwealth Club of California event was held the same day special counsel Robert Mueller made his first public statement on the Russian investigation.
“After that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
Pelosi has pushed party members to hold off on impeachment proceedings and wait for the result of investigations, The Wall Street Journal reported. She said during Wednesday’s event that less than 40 House Democrats among the party’s 235 members “have said they wanted to be outspoken on impeachment.”
“Nothing is off the table,” Pelosi said. “But we do want to make such a compelling case, such an ironclad case, that even the Republican Senate, which at the time seems to be not an objective jury, will be convinced of the path that we have to take as a country.”