Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urged President Donald Trump's family to have an intervention with their patriarch "for the good of the country" on Thursday, one day after the commander-in-chief vowed to stop working with Congress unless Democrats stop all investigations of him.
The California Democrat detailed a pattern of "stunts" used by Trump in an alleged attempt to change the subject as various sweeping investigations into him and his administration dominate the news cycle. Trump on Wednesday allegedly stormed out of a meeting with Democrats, which had been set up to discuss how to finance a $2 trillion infrastructure package.
"He pulled a stunt," Pelosi told reporters Thursday at her weekly news conference. "The president has a bag of tricks . . . for certain occasions. He's a master of distraction."
"I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family, or administration or staff would have an intervention for the good of the country," Pelosi added. "Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence."
Trump offered his own version of Wednesday's events in a tweet Thursday morning.
"I was extremely calm yesterday with my meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, knowing that they would say I was raging, which they always do, along with their partner, the Fake News Media," he wrote. "Well, so many stories about the meeting use the Rage narrative anyway - Fake & Corrupt Press!"
Wednesday's blow-up between Trump and Democratic congressional leaders came amid escalating tensions between House Democrats and the White House over investigations on issues including foreign election interference, alleged mismanagement in the White House security clearance procedures, the president's finances and his immigration policies.
Since the Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives in January, current and former Trump administration officials have faced a barrage of subpoenas, demands to testify before a host of congressional panels and letters seeking a flurry of documents. But the White House has often ignored congressional requests for documents and witnesses, claiming the demands are an unconstitutional infringement on the president's powers. Democrats, meanwhile, have accused the Trump administration of stonewalling or flat-out ignoring their requests for documents and information.
The executive branch's attempts to push back against congressional inquiries targeting the White House have led a growing number of Democrats to contemplate new ways to compel current and former West Wing aides to acquiesce to their demands, including heightening calls to open impeachment proceedings against the president. Some Democrats have even proposed personally fining or jailing administration officials who do not comply with their requests.
Pelosi on Thursday claimed that what really got to Trump was "these court cases and the House Democratic Caucus has not passed impeachment and that's where he wants us to be."
She noted that although the president's behavior in terms of obstruction of justice "could be impeachable offenses," she remains steadfast in her belief that Democrats should not launch impeachment proceedings against Trump at this time and instead focus on their various investigations into the administration.
"I do think that impeachment is a very decisive place to go in our country. And what we can get the facts to the American people through our investigation, it may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment — or not," Pelosi told reporters. "But we're not at that place."