- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

President Trump accused “incompetent” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday of holding up passage of a key trade deal to build more support among lawmakers for impeachment.

“All she wants to do is focus on impeachment, which is just a little pipe dream she’s got,” the president said at a Cabinet meeting. “And she can keep playing that game. She’s using USMCA [trade deal] because she doesn’t have the impeachment votes. So she’s using USMCA to get the impeachment vote.”

Speaking on the third day of impeachment hearings, Mr. Trump predicted that Americans will soon understand the scope of Mrs. Pelosi’s negligent leadership.

“She is incompetent, and you’re about to find that out,” the president said. “They’re using this impeachment hoax for their own political game, to try and damage the Republican Party and damage the president, but it’s had the opposite effect. I’m the highest I’ve ever been in the polls.”

He said officials from Canada and Mexico have been calling him, asking when the trade agreement will be completed.

“We have to get [the trade deal] signed. Nancy Pelosi can’t get it off her desk,” the president said. “The Democrats want to have it, the unions want it, the farmers want it, the manufacturers want it. I think the woman is grossly incompetent.”

The president said he watched some of what he called a “kangaroo court” on Wednesday morning and was pleased with Republicans’ defense of him.

“We don’t have lawyers, we don’t have witnesses, we don’t have anything,” Mr. Trump said. “And yet I just got to watch, and the Republicans are absolutely killing it. They are doing so well, because it’s a scam. It’s an embarrassment to our nation.”

Asked about the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman of the National Security Council, the president said, “I understand somebody had the misfortune of calling him ‘Mister,’ and he corrected them.”

“I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in [to testify],” the president said. “No, I don’t know Vindman at all. … I watched him for a little while this morning, and I think he — I’ll let people make their own determination.”

He also referred to State Department official George Kent, who testified last week, as the man “with the wonderful bow tie. Maybe I’ll get one for myself someday.”

The president ridiculed the Democrats’ case against him as hearsay.

“All these people were talking about — they heard a conversation of a conversation of another conversation that was had by the president,” Mr. Trump said. “What’s going on is a disgrace.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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