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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12:16 p.m. ET, May 22, 2019

The White House planned that Rose Garden event earlier this morning 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Chip Somodevilla / Staff
Chip Somodevilla / Staff

White House officials began planning earlier this morning for the Rose Garden event in which the President announced he couldn't work with Democrats as they proceed with their investigations.

Aides printed the podium poster and created handouts after Speaker Pelosi made her comment about Trump engaging in a "cover-up" -- but did not disinvite Pelosi or Sen. Schumer from their planned meeting on infrastructure.

Trump wanted to inform the Democrats of his move in person, according to an aide, leading to the 5-minute meeting in the Cabinet Room.

12:09 p.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Nancy Pelosi: I pray for the President and the United States of America

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelsoi said that after long promising to work on infrastructure, President Trump "took a pass."

"He just took a pass. And it just makes me wonder why he did that," she said. "I pray for the President of the United States. And I pray for the United States of America."

Some context: Pelosi and Trump were supposed to meet this morning to talk about infrastructure alongside Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. That meeting lasted only five minutes and ended after Trump said he could not work with Democrats amid investigations.

Here's how Schumer described the meeting:

"To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop."

12:08 p.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Moments after Trump blasts Democrats, Nancy Pelosi starts out by talking about infrastructure

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer are holding a press conference right now, moments after President Trump convened the media in the Rose Garden to slam Democrats.

She began by talking about infrastructure.

The two leaders met with President Trump about infrastructure. That meeting lasted only five minutes, a source a direct knowledge told CNN.

11:57 a.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Trump had a poster about the Mueller report's cost ready to go for this impromptu speech

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump just spoke in the White House Rose Garden to address the "cover-up" comments Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made earlier this morning.

Trump spoke from a presidential lectern with a posted tacked to the front that outlined the numbers behind the Mueller report.

11:53 a.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Trump's meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer lasted just 5 minutes

From CNN's Phil Mattingly and Manu Raju

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's meeting with President Trump about infrastructure lasted only five minutes, a source a direct knowledge told CNN.

Right as they walked in, Trump brought up the "cover-up" comment Pelosi made earlier this morning. Then, Trump said there would be no negotiations until the investigations are over.

Pelosi told him she knew he wasn’t serious about infrastructure.

11:52 a.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Trump says he can't work with Democrats

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump says he told Democratic leaders at the White House on Wednesday he couldn't work with them while they were pursuing investigations into him and his administration.

"I’ve said from the beginning — right from the beginning — you probably can’t go down two tracks. You can go down the investigation track or you can go down the investment track," Trump said in last-minute remarks in the Rose Garden.

Trump was supposed to have a meeting with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this morning on infrastructure. That meeting lasted just a few minutes: During it, Trump told them he couldn't work with them until their investigations are over.

"I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, I want to do infrastructure," he said. "But you can’t do it under these circumstances."

He said he message to the lawmakers was "get these phony investigations over with."

11:48 a.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Trump: "This whole thing was a takedown attempt"

President Trump called the investigation into Russian interference in the US election a "takedown attempt" that ended with conclusions that there was no collusion.

"So here is the bottom line: There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. We’ve been doing this since I’ve been President," Trump said.

Then, Trump criticized the media for how it covered the investigation.

This whole thing was a takedown attempt at the President of The United States. And honestly you ought to be ashamed of yourselves the way you report it so dishonestly," he said.
11:46 a.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Trump's staffers are watching him speak now

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House staff can be seen grinning along the colonnade while President Trump speaks. 

11:43 a.m. ET, May 22, 2019

Trump: "I don't do cover-ups"

President Trump, speaking from the Rose Garden, addressed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's comments that she believes the President engaged in a "cover-up."

"I don't do cover-ups," Trump said.

Remember: Pelosi and Trump were supposed to meet at the White House at 11 a.m. to talk about infrastructure.

Here's what he said:

"I came here to do a on infrastructure meeting with Democrats — not really thinking that they wanted to do infrastructure or anything else other than investigate. And I just saw that Nancy Pelosi, just before our meeting made a statement that we believe that 'the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.' It turns out I'm the most — I think most of you would agree to this — I'm the most transparent president probably in the history of this country."