Wednesday, May 22, was certainly a busy day for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Not only did she meet with the Democratic caucus, but then headed to the White House to speak with President Donald Trump about infrastructure reform. It's obvious by now that the House speaker and the president don't necessarily have the best relationship, but Nancy Pelosi's comments about Trump's alleged "cover-up" raise the stakes quite a bit.
On Wednesday, May 22, Pelosi met with the Democratic caucus to discuss calls for President Trump's impeachment, as well as concerns that he's allegedly involved in a "cover-up" related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into whether the 2016 Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russian operatives. Elite Daily reached out to both Pelosi's team and the White House for comment on the House speaker's comments and President Trump's reaction, but did not hear back in time for publication.
"We believe that the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up," Pelosi said alongside the caucus.
It's no surprise that Pelosi's comment didn't sit well with Trump. Following the meeting with her party, Pelosi and other Democrats headed to the White House to speak with Trump about infrastructure reform. However, the House speaker detailed the exchange between her and the president while speaking to CNN on May 22, and it sounds... tense, to say the least. She said,
He came into the room and said that I said that he was engaged in a cover-up and he couldn't possibly engage in a conversation on infrastructure.
In fact, the meeting reportedly lasted only about five minutes, per CNN.
Never one to shy away from a good fight, Trump addressed Pelosi's cover-up allegations by speaking to reporters from the Rose Garden on May 22, where he denied the claims. "Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up," Trump told reporters. "I don't do cover-ups."
He added that he couldn't work with Democrats until their interest in investigating him was 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."
Pelosi and the Democratic caucus' statements follow the public release of Mueller's report on April 18, which found no collusion between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russia, though it did note that the Trump campaign had expected to benefit from Russian election meddling. The report also, notably, neither condemned nor exonerated the president on obstruction of justice. The Department of Justice concluded that the president had not committed a crime. However, Attorney General William Barr has received criticism for his handling of the report, with Democrats claiming that he might be in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify to the House on the matter. The House Judiciary Committee voted on May 8 to hold Barr in contempt, but the House Intelligence Committee delayed a following contempt vote on May 22 after the Justice Department offered to cooperate with the committee's subpoena, according to Chairman Adam Schiff.
In Barr's summary of Mueller's report, the attorney general declared that Mueller found no evidence Trump had obstructed justice. However, the redacted public report detailed some discrepancies that caught the attention of Democrats. Mueller's findings found evidence that the president allegedly tried to derail Mueller's investigation into his campaign and presidency. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the report at the time, but did not hear back.
Mueller's redacted report has led both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to issue subpoenas to figures including Barr, former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, and former White House Deputy Counsel Annie Donaldson. So, not only does Trump have to deal with calls for impeachment and cover-up allegations, but his former White House staff is being asked to testify.
The drama continues, and judging by Pelosi's cover-up claim, she's not playing around. Stay tuned.