Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was “playing politics” with the idea of expunging former President Donald Trump’s two impeachments.
“Kevin is, you know, playing politics. It is not even clear if he constitutionally can expunge those things. If he wants to put his members on the spot, his members in difficult races on the spot, that is a decision he has to make. But this is not responsible,” Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
McCarthy said in a private call with Trump that he personally backed the idea of expunging the former president’s two impeachments and would bring it up to the conference to gauge support. However, he has not scheduled a floor vote, and when asked about the idea on Thursday, McCarthy said it should “go through committee like anything else.”
The California Republican has been working overtime to placate Trump after an interview last month in which McCarthy said he thinks the former president can win in 2024 but did not know if he was the “strongest” candidate, prompting outrage from Trump advisers and allies. McCarthy called Trump to apologize after the interview, claiming he misspoke on CNBC, sources told CNN.
“This is about being afraid. As I have said before, Donald Trump is the puppeteer. And what does he do all the time but shine the light on the strings? These people look pathetic,” Pelosi said Sunday.
Pelosi also labeled the recent “Weaponization of the Federal Government” hearing from a GOP-led panel as “clown show.”
The hearing saw Robert F. Kennedy Jr. testify that he has never been anti-vaccine, racist or antisemitic, despite the fact that he has promoted a litany of conspiracies and discriminatory statements over the years.
Republicans had called Kennedy and others as witnesses as part of their probe into alleged censorship against conservatives at large technology companies.
“What a ridiculous clown show, again, on the part of the Republicans,” Pelosi said.
A member of the House of Representatives since 1987, Pelosi would not say whether she plans to run for reelection.
Turning to the economy, Pelosi said Sunday she was “so proud” of President Joe Biden’s record but urged him to “get out there” and tout recent economic trends.
“This president did such a remarkable job. He is a person of such knowledge, such vision for the country, such knowledge of the issues, such strategic thinking and such a legislator, and, on top of it all, a person who connects with the American people,” she said.
US annual inflation slowed to 3% last month, according to the Consumer Price Index by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a sharp cooldown from June of last year, when surging energy costs helped inflation spike to 9.1%
The US economy added 209,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate was 3.6%, the BLS reported. The monthly job gains represent a significant slowing from the breakneck pace of employment growth seen during the recovery from the pandemic; however, the current labor market is outpacing what was seen in and prior to February 2020.
“He’s just going to have to make sure the American people know at that kitchen table what this means to them,” she said.
Pelosi separately called it “completely, totally ridiculous” that Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey approved a new congressional map with just one majority-Black district, despite a court order calling for the redrawn lines to create two majority-Black districts or “something quite close to it.”
“Something is wrong with that picture, and it’s larger. You see the racism that is happening in our country,” Pelosi said Sunday.
She added: “What has happened to the Republican Party that they have taken it to this?”
This story has been updated with additional information.