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Pelosi gives Trump an earful, questions ‘manhood’ in private

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In public, Nancy Pelosi lectured Donald Trump on the Constitution and wagged a finger at him for characterising her “strength.” In private, she questioned his “manhood” — and her disdain for him became public, again, anyway.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, speaks to a reporter as she and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, walk back into the West Wing after speaking to members of the media outside of the White House in Washington. --Photo AP

“It’s like a manhood thing for him. As if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing,” Pelosi privately told House Democrats after a combative, on-camera Oval Office meeting with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. The account was described on condition of anonymity by an aide who was in the room but not authorised to discuss Pelosi’s remarks publicly.
In the space of a few hours Tuesday, the California Democrat nominated for her second stint as House speaker rolled out her approach to the Republican president as the two prepare for two years of divided government.
“It goes to show you: You get into a tickle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you,” she said after Tuesday’s meeting, according to the aide.
Pelosi is said to frown on truly blue language. But in public and private, she can be unsparing in her clapbacks, and never more so than during the Trump presidency. She questioned Trump’s “manhood” publicly in October at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, for example. And yet, she’s long counseled Democrats to not get into the muck, Trump-style, advising Democrats before the State of the Union address in January not to get in the way of his “slobbering self.”
On Tuesday, outside the White House, Pelosi predicted Democrats would stay “dignified.”
Pelosi hardly saved her disdain for Trump for the private audience, letting it rip in slightly more respectful tones a few hours earlier when the president invited journalists into the Oval Office for what were billed as talks over the national budget. What ensued was like a political cage match, with everyone except Pence jumping in with ripostes, setups, lectures and insults. The conflict between Trump and Pelosi dominated the scene, which was replete with gender politics.
The spectacle suggested a fierce, two-year struggle in which Democrats control one chamber of Congress for the first time in Trump’s presidency.


(Latest Update
December 13,
2018)


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