President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were in separate rooms on Tuesday night, but they had different views of the potential impeachment crisis unfolding before them.
The president was in the Senate chambers with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D) to discuss the GOP’s first attempt to impeach Trump over his response to the Charlottesville protests and the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was killed when a car driven by a white supremacist plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters on August 12, 2017.
During a lengthy conversation with reporters, Pelosi said she had spoken with Trump over the past several days and he told her he would support the Democrats’ effort to remove him from office.
“I told him I was ready to move forward with it and I told him, if you don’t want to move, I don’t care,” Pelosi said, according to a video clip of the press conference.
“If you want to take a vote, you can move forward.
I was prepared to vote on it.”
The White House later released a statement saying Trump agreed with Pelosi that there should be an investigation into the incident.
“President Trump believes that the president should be impeached and that the House should conduct an impeachment trial,” the statement read.
“President Trump and the Vice President agreed that the process should begin immediately and that no decisions should be made about whether to pursue the impeachment process in the House.”
Pelosi also said that she had heard from her former boss that Trump was “absolutely” in favor of the House proceeding and that she was ready “to move forward” with impeachment.
But Pelosi said that it would be premature to call for a trial, given that the investigation is already underway.
“If they do an investigation, I will be there with them, I think the House is in the process of doing an investigation.
And they should do an independent investigation,” she said.
Pelosper added that she did not believe that Trump intended to leave office in 2019, given his history of public comments about his health, and that he “wasn’t even considering leaving the White House.”
But, Pelosi added, “I think the president is aware that the American people need to see that he’s not going to be around.”
Polls show a majority of Americans support impeaching Trump.
On Monday, a poll from CNN/ORC showed that 61 percent of Americans oppose impeaching the president, and 57 percent believe the Senate should impeach him.