After battling President Donald Trump in an extraordinary Oval Office showdown on Tuesday that was recorded by a throng of TV cameras, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California told fellow Democrats that the president’s obsession with building a wall along the southern border is a result of his skewed sense of “manhood.”
The remark came in a private meeting with Democrats in which she debriefed colleagues on her very public meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that was also attended by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York. “It’s like a manhood thing for him,” Pelosi told Democrats in the closed-door meeting, according to multiple reports. “As if manhood could ever be associated with him,” she added.
Pelosi also told colleagues that she “was trying to be the mom” in the room as tensions flared, according to The New York Daily News. “I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild,” she reportedly said. She also made another apt observation about what it’s like tangling with Trump, according to reports. “It goes to show you,” she said, “you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”
The Oval Office photo op with Pelosi and Schumer, their first visit to the White House to meet with Trump in a year, quickly devolved into a public fracas in which Pelosi and Schumer implored Trump to have the debate in private, and resulted in Trump declaring he’d be “proud” to shut down the government later this month if Democrats don’t compromise and approve funding to begin construction of wall he’s been touting since his 2016 campaign.
Pelosi is the nominee to be the next Speaker of the House when the new Congress is sworn in next month, but she’s had to fight off a challenge from a young contingent of Democratic newcomers to the House, and Trump attempted to exploit any uncertainty that may exist ahead of the House’s final vote for the speakership.
“Nancy’s in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now,” Trump said during one exchange. Pelosi held her ground and shot back, saying, “Please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory.” Then, turning to the news cameras, she added, “You take an oath to protect and defend, and we don’t want to have that mischaracterized by anyone.”
After the whole face-off winded down, Pelos said she privately told Trump to pray about the issue. At this point, we all might want to say a prayer.
Below, watch video of the full exchange. Pelosi wasn’t kidding when she said it was “wild.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.