CNN town hall with Nancy Pelosi
Despite a day filled with major impeachment developments on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did her best tonight to direct questions toward other issues facing the country, such as health care.
"Can we not have any more questions about impeachment?" Pelosi said, to laughs. "I don't mind questions, but to ask me questions through the prism of the White House is like, what?"
Earlier today: Pelosi announced that the House was proceeding with articles of impeachment against President Trump, a historic step that is likely to make Trump the third President in US history to be impeached.
"Today, I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment," Pelosi said in a brief address outside her office this morning, the same location where she announced Democrats would open the impeachment inquiry two months ago. "The President leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt once again the election for his own benefit."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers need to focus on working together for the country.
She said Congress must focus on reducing gun violence, good education and the disparity income in America.
"By the way, we have 400 bills sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk. And he keeps saying, 'All they do is impeach.' No, we have 400 bills. 275 of them are bipartisan bills. 275 of the," she said.
Pelosi went on to criticize President Trump for his divisiveness.
"It's really important to note that the country was divided. The President had been a very divisive force. He's not the only reason it's divided," she said.
Pelosi added: "But again, he has fanned the flame. But some of that division was there before President Trump, but he has made it much, much worse. So it isn't — that's why I don't want to talk about him."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, believes former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney should testify in the impeachment inquiry.
"They should be testifying because they have been asked to testify by Congress. It isn't a deal. It's about a system of checks and balances," Pelosi said tonight during the town hall.
More on the lack of testimonies: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has repeatedly called on Mulvaney and others to comply with congressional subpoenas and testify before Congress in the impeachment inquiry.
Schiff said in a statement that Mulvaney "not only has refused to testify, but actively worked to block others from complying with subpoenas, and refused to provide Congress with documents relating to Trump's suspension of Congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine."
"This is the same Mick Mulvaney who publicly admitted from the White House podium that Trump withheld the military aid in order to pressure Ukraine to conduct investigations meant to help the President's re-election campaign, and the same Mick Mulvaney who was a direct firsthand participant in and witness to the scheme," Schiff continued.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.