Trump battles with Democrats as impeachment pressure grows

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:39 PM ET, Thu May 23, 2019
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3:59 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

President Trump says USMCA "too complicated" for Pelosi to understand

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

President Donald Trump claimed on Thursday that his re-negotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico is so complex that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can’t understand it.

“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi understands the deal, it’s too complicated,” Trump said during remarks at a farmers’ event at the White House.

Trump claimed “many” Democrats have informed the White House they plan to support the US Mexico-Canada Agreement, USMCA, “regardless of leadership.”

“NAFTA has been one of the worst deals ever made in trade,” Trump said.

His swipe at Pelosi comes as the two leaders have feuded this week, with the President walking out on a meeting with her Wednesday after Pelosi accused him of engaging in a “cover-up.”

11:49 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Pelosi: "I am" concerned about Trump's wellbeing and wish there would be "an intervention"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hoped President Trump's family or staff "would have an intervention" and said she was concerned about President Trump's wellbeing, and that of the country.

"I pray for the President of the United States," she said. "I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country."

Asked by NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell if she was concerned about Trump's wellbeing, Pelosi responded, "I am. And the wellbeing about the United States of America." 

11:42 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Pelosi says she will continue to use "cover-up" even if Trump doesn't like it

From CNN's Ashley Killough

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would continue to use rhetoric like "cover-up" even if President Trump finds it inflammatory.

"I do not intend not to honor my oath of office," she said at her weekly press conference.

Pelosi also told reporters she still would take a meeting again with Trump on legislation despite the blowup at yesterday's meeting.

"We can walk and chew gum," she said.

11:31 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Pelosi: Democratic investigations could lead to Trump's impeachment down the road

CNN's Manu Raju asked Speaker Pelosi if she could explain why she is opposed to launching an impeachment inquiry, as many of her House Democratic colleagues want to do. 

Pelosi responded:

"Let me be clear. The President's behavior, in terms of his obstruction of justice, the things he's doing, it's clear. It's in plain sight. It cannot be denied. Ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice. Yes, these could be impeachment offenses."

She added, however, that she wants to "follow the facts," which could lead to impeachment down the road.

"I do think that impeachment is a very divisive place to go in our country," she said, "and we can get the facts to the American people through our investigation. It may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or not. But we're not at that place."

11:27 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Pelosi: Democrats are not on a path to impeachment — and that's what got to Trump

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is speaking at her weekly news conference and discussing her abrupt meeting with President Trump yesterday. The meeting — which was supposed to be about infrastructure — lasted only five minutes after President Trump said he could not work with Democrats as they weigh investigations against him.

Pelsoi said the fact that Democrats are not actively pursuing impeachment proceeding "got" to the President.

"I think what really got to him was that these court cases and the fact that the House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment. That’s where he wants us to be," she said.

Remember: Pelosi has long maintained she doesn't want to begin impeachment proceedings. She has said Trump is "goading" Democrats into starting the process because "he knows that it would be very divisive in the country" and subsequently solidify his base.

Today, Pelosi also called the Wednesday meeting a "stunt" and a "distraction."

“He is the master of distraction. We will all agree on that. That’s something he does well, to distract from problems that he has," she said.

11:16 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

NOW: Pelosi takes the podium for her weekly press conference

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just took the podium for her weekly press conference. You can watch it live in the video player above (refresh if you don't see it), on TV or CNNGo.

11:10 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Pelosi warns Dems: "Make no mistake, [Trump] wants to be impeached"

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a meeting with her whip team this morning, said President Trump is egging Democrats on and they should continue down the path they've laid out, per a person with direct knowledge. 

She walked through the court wins as evidence the strategy and long game is working.

"Make no mistake, he wants to be impeached," Pelosi said, per this person. "His actions are villainous to the Constitution of the United States."

10:51 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Trump tweets: Democrats are the "DO NOTHING PARTY"

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

President Trump has tweeted multiple times this morning expressing frustration at Democrats following their White House infrastructure meeting yesterday and his subsequent press conference.

Some background: In a “Dear Colleagues” letter yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi characterized Trump as having a “temper tantrum” during the meeting, which he continues to dispute today.

Today, Trump has taken to framing the Democrats as the “do-nothing party." He also directed Democrats to “move quickly” in finishing investigations so they can “get the REAL work of the people done.”

Here's a look at some of Trump's tweets:

10:33 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Nancy Pelosi will take questions at her weekly news conference

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will take questions at 10:45 a.m. ET during her weekly briefing with reporters.

It comes after a tense day for both Pelosi and President Trump.

The Speaker, before a previously scheduled mid-morning meeting with Trump, said that the President has "engaged in a cover-up." She did not say where she stands on impeachment.

But Trump grew furious when he heard what she had said and cut their meeting to a short 5 minutes. He declared he wouldn't work with Democratic leaders while Democrat-led committees were investigating him, then gave surprise remarks in the Rose Garden where he said he doesn't "do" cover-ups.