CNN town hall with Nancy Pelosi

By Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:21 p.m. ET, February 19, 2020
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9:37 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi: Bill Clinton was impeached for "being stupid"

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked why she's supporting impeachment now when she didn't in the past.

She said she opposed impeaching President George W. Bush despite repeated calls to remove him. Pelosi then moved on to President Bill Clinton, who she said was impeached because of "personal indiscretion and misrepresenting about it."

"Some of these same people are saying, oh, this doesn't rise to impeachment. Right there, impeaching Bill Clinton for being stupid in terms of something like that. I mean, I love him, I think he was a great president, but being stupid in terms of that, what would somebody do, not to embarrass their family, but in any event, so they did Bill Clinton, now they want me to do George Bush, I didn't want it to be a way of life in our country," she said.

9:37 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi slams Giuliani over claims that Ukraine meddled the 2016 election

Sarah Silbiger for CNN
Sarah Silbiger for CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took aim at President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tonight in Washington, D.C., criticizing his insistence that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.

"I don't have time to keep track of Rudy Giuliani, I just don't. But I do think it is further indication of the arrogance of it all, that every authority has said there is no truth to the rumor that the Ukrainians were instrumental in interfering in our election," Pelosi said tonight.

Pelosi went on to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Putin makes a joke of it. He says, 'Oh, they're blaming it on Ukraine, they took it off of me.' But all roads lead to Putin. This is about Putin, right from Putin, in Russia, in Moscow, Putin's desk, the disruption of our elections but not only ours. They want to undermine democracy all around the world. In Africa, in Europe, in the United States, to undermine democracy."

Some more context on Giuliani and Ukraine: Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, testified that Giuliani was essentially running point for Trump on Ukraine matters.

Giuliani was trying to arrange a quid pro quo of a White House meeting for Ukraine's new president in exchange for his help investigating interference in the 2016 elections, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company known as Burisma. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.

9:30 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi claims Republicans "have taken an oath to Donald Trump"

Sarah Silbiger for CNN
Sarah Silbiger for CNN

During the town hall tonight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims the Republican party has "taken an oath to Donald Trump" when it comes to considering information related to the impeachment inquiry.

"I think it's so overwhelming that to ignore it would be derelict in our own duty. I can't answer for the Republicans. They have taken an oath to Donald Trump," Pelosi said tonight.

Pelosi went on to add: "I'm saying the Republicans have failed to meet the standard of honoring their oath of office, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

9:21 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Trump has to be stopped or he'll continue to jeopardize our elections, Pelosi says

Asked why she decided to support impeaching President Trump so close to the 2020 election, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the President has to be stopped or he'll continue to jeopardize US elections.

She said he invited intervention and is jeopardizing "the integrity of our election and we could not continue to let him do that without holding him accountable for it."

"One of the things that the President did was to undermine, jeopardize the integrity of our elections by asking a foreign power to intervene, you know what the ask was, to announce an investigation into his potential rival," Pelosi said.

9:27 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi on impeachment: "This isn't about politics at all. This is about patriotism."

Sarah Silbiger for CNN
Sarah Silbiger for CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the impeachment inquiry in President Trump a matter of "patriotism" and "not about partisanship."

Pelosi's comments at a CNN town hall in Washington D.C come after the California Democrat announced earlier today that the House was proceeding with articles of impeachment.

"This isn't about politics at all. This is about patriotism. It's not about partisanship. It's about honoring our oath of office. This is the first President that has committed all of these things as the constitutional experts said yesterday, nobody has ever even come close, not Richard Nixon even came close to his dishonoring his own oath of office," Pelosi said tonight.
9:14 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi on reporter's "hate" question: "For him to say that was really disgusting to me"

Sarah Silbiger for CNN
Sarah Silbiger for CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expanded upon her answer to a question from a reporter earlier today who asked her whether she hated President Trump.

"The word to hate a person, that just doesn't happen. The word 'hate' is a terrible word. You might reserve it for vanilla ice cream for something like that, I'm a chocoholic, but not for a person. And so for him to say that was really disgusting to me. And of course he was quoth somebody else," Pelosi said.

9:18 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi on impeaching Trump: "The President violated the Constitution"

Sarah Silbiger for CNN
Sarah Silbiger for CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking at tonight's CNN town hall, defended the House impeachment inquiry, saying "the President violated the Constitution."

"I believe that we should introduce articles of impeachment. This is a very sad day, I think, for our country. It's something that I would have hoped we could have avoided. But the President's actions made it necessary. You cannot violate the Constitution in full view," she told CNN's Jake Tapper.

Pelosi continued: "The facts are clear. They were presented by the people who had access to the situation. The facts are clear. The Constitution is clear. The President violated the Constitution. And so I think it is important for us to proceed. If we were not to proceed, it would say to any president, any future president, whoever she or he may be, Democratic or Republican, that our democracy is gone, the President is king, he can do whatever he wants in violation of the law, ignoring the acts of Congress, undermining our system of checks and balances."

9:00 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

The Pelosi town hall has started

A CNN town hall featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has started in Washington, D.C.

Pelosi will answer questions regarding the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

8:58 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Here's what happened when Pelosi spoke to reporters about impeachment today

From CNN's Meg Wagner and Haley Byrd

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a scathing warning today to a reporter who asked her a question about her feelings about President Trump: "Don't mess with me."

The California Democrat forcefully pushed back on the idea that she and her caucus are proceeding with articles of impeachment because of a personal dislike of Trump, after being asked by a reporter from Sinclair if she hates him on her way out of the weekly press conference.

Pelosi stopped and said: "I don't hate anybody."

She then walked back to the microphone, and said that while she believes Trump is a "coward," that's only about his political positions.

"I think this President is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence," she said. "I think that he is cruel when he doesn't deal with helping our Dreamers, of which we are very proud of. I think he is in denial about the climate crisis. However, that's about the election."

She continued: "This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the President's violation of his oath of office. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone."

"I pray for the President all the time," Pelosi said. "So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."