WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump has become a “potty-mouth,” but that’s not why House Democrats are pursuing impeachment.
In a conference call Friday, Pelosi told her House Democratic colleagues to stay focused on their “just the facts, ma’am,” impeachment probe.
Trump “has become a potty-mouth and children are listening,” she said.
Pelosi said Trump’s comments about Joe Biden at a rally Thursday evening were “beyond disgraceful.” But she said that’s an issue to be taken up during the election — not during the impeachment inquiry.
“The inquiry is because he has not honored his oath of office,” Pelosi said, according to an aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private call.
“The whole point of this inquiry is to save the Constitution of the United States,” she said.
The president said at a rally in Minneapolis on Thursday night that Biden “was only a good vice president because he knew how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”
Democrats launched their formal impeachment investigation last month after a whistleblower complaint accused Trump of abusing his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son. A rough transcript released by the White House confirmed that Trump made the request on what he has repeatedly referred to as a “perfect” call with the Ukrainian president.
Trump and Republicans say the impeachment investigation is illegitimate until the House votes to launch the process.
But Pelosi appears to be under little pressure to bring a more formal impeachment resolution to a vote in the House. The aide said it never came up on the call.
The Constitution gives the House “the sole power of impeachment” and leaves it to Congress to fill in the details.
“I’ve said before, Trump himself is not worthy of impeachment because it’s divisive in the country,” Pelosi said on the call. “But our Constitution is worth it. Our democracy is worth it. And, our republic, if we can save it, is worth it.”