President Donald Trump on Thursday called Nancy Pelosi a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person” in response to the House speaker telling lawmakers she wanted Trump to go to prison.
“I think she’s a disgrace. I don’t think she’s a talented person,” Trump said of Pelosi. “I’ve tried to be nice to her because I would have liked to have gotten some deals done. She’s incapable of doing deals. She’s a nasty, vindictive, horrible person.”
Story Continued Below
POLITICO reported Wednesday that Pelosi said she wanted Trump to go to prison while pushing back on Democratic efforts to impeach the president, saying that she wants him defeated in 2020 and later charged for crimes.
Pelosi has frustrated some in her party for rebuffing calls for the president’s impeachment following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Pelosi’s allies have said impeachment would go nowhere with a Republican-controlled Senate.
“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, while Trump was in Europe.
Pelosi’s comments were made behind closed doors and revealed to POLITICO by people familiar with the meeting.
Trump laid into Pelosi during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham broadcast Thursday evening. He made the comments in France, again eschewing the tradition of leaving partisan politics on American shores. Trump himself expressed anger that Pelosi made her remarks while he was abroad.
Trump repeated a recently minted nickname for Pelosi — Nervous Nancy — and said she should divert her attention away from the president’s alleged misdeeds to her home district in San Francisco, which he said has “drugs and needles all over the place.”
“It’s the most disgusting thing what she’s allowed to happen to her district,” he said.
Trump also went after Sen. Joe Biden, who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, saying he “just doesn’t get it” on economic relations with China. During a Tuesday town hall, Biden characterized the economic threat posed by China as less severe than Trump’s trade war would suggest. Trump in turn said Chinese President Xi Jinping would love to have Biden as the Democratic nominee.
Despite his ire toward his adversaries back home, Trump was conciliatory toward one critic abroad: German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German leader has been a vocal advocate of the liberal world order and multilateral cooperation — a stark contrast to the America-first message of Trump.
Speaking at Harvard’s commencement ceremony last month, Merkel criticized Trump’s world view (though not naming Trump himself), urging the audience to “tear down the walls of ignorance and narrow mindedness.”
Trump said he Merkel “has to say what she has to say” and even conceded that “I like her a lot.”
“A lot of people think we don’t have a good relationship,” Trump said of himself and Merkel. “We do. She even smiles!”
Merkel, Trump and several other world leaders including British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron gathered this week in France to commemorate the 75thanniversary of the D-Day landing.
When asked what he prayed for when he prayed for the country, Trump responded: “Peace.”