- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down allegations that she hates President Trump on Thursday after announcing that Democrats were moving forward with articles of impeachment.

In a tense exchange with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s James Rosen, the California Democrat turned on her heel and scolded the reporter for posing the question.

“I don’t hate anybody,” she said in a rare show of anger. “As a Catholic, I resent you using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. So, don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”

Mrs. Pelosi, who was asked the question as she was leaving her press conference, returned to the podium and explained that while she dislikes many things about Mr. Trump — including that he is a “coward” and “cruel,” particularly through his inaction on “Dreamers” and gun control — those issues are best left to voters. She insisted that such political disagreements had nothing to do with the push toward impeachment.

“If we did not act on this, the message to any future president — Democratic, Republican, whoever he or she may be — would be, ‘You can do whatever you want,’” she said.

Mr. Rosen said he wanted to ask the question because Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of pursuing impeachment only because they don’t like the man in the Oval Office.

Republicans have repeatedly accused Democrats of running a partisan impeachment process and rushing to impeach the president to undo the 2016 election.

They highlight viral clips from members such as Reps. Al Green and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who have both advocated for impeachment as a means to block Mr. Trump from getting reelected.

Mrs. Pelosi said the decision has nothing to do with politics, even brushing off concerns about the risks impeachment poses for her vulnerable members, saying the focus needs to be on the facts of the case.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with politics,” she said. “It’s totally insignificant. The oath of office we take is to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. It’s about the president not honoring his oath of office.”

Video of the exchange between Mrs. Pelosi and the reporter went viral. Mr. Trump remarked that Mrs. Pelosi appeared to be having a “nervous fit.”

“She hates that we will soon have 182 great new judges and sooo much more. Stock Market and employment records. She says she ‘prays for the President.’ I don’t believe her, not even close. Help the homeless in your district Nancy. USMCA?” the president tweeted.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the speaker would not have had to defend herself if Democrats weren’t moving forward on impeachment and said politics obviously was part of the equation.

“I take the speaker at her word,” he said. “But if she paused for a moment, if she looked at just the facts, she would not have made that determination.”

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