RadioOnFire.com - President Donald Trump abruptly quit a meeting with congressional Democrats Wednesday with a flat declaration he would no longer work with them unless they drop their investigations in the aftermath of the Trump-Russia report.
After the truncated meeting with the Democratic leaders, scheduled for a discussion of U.S. infrastructure problems, Trump lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her comment earlier in the morning on Capitol Hill that she believed the president engaged in a "cover up" of the Russia probe. The president then strode to the Rose Garden where aides had gathered reporters and TV cameras for his demand that Congress drop its investigations that are increasingly leading to talk of what he called the "i-word" -- impeachment.
"I walked into the room and I told Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi I want to do infrastructure," he said, referring to the top Democratic senator, New York's Chuck Schumer.
"But you know what we can't do it under these circumstances," Trump said. "So get these phony investigations over."
Pelosi said Trump "just took a pass" on working on national infrastructure problems. She said she would be praying for him.
She told reporters after a private meeting of House Democrats that Trump is "engaged in a cover up," even as she tried to tamp down some Democrats' rush toward an impeachment inquiry in their showdown with the White House.
Pelosi and five of her top investigative committee leaders spoke with fellow Democrats after an increasing number called for the beginning of an impeachment inquiry following special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia election meddling and contacts with the Trump campaign.
Those Democrats say the move would not necessarily be aimed at removing the president, but instead to bolster their position in court as Trump has broadly stonewalled their investigations. Some two dozen House Democrats have signed on.
With her leadership team, Pelosi, who has resisted pressure to impeach, pointed rank-and-file Democrats toward the legal battles that she said have already found success in forcing Trump to comply with investigations.
"We do believe it's important to follow the facts," Pelosi told reporters afterward. "We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States, and we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up — in a cover-up."
A growing number of Democrats, incensed by former White House counsel Don McGahn's defiance Tuesday of a House panel's subpoena for testimony, have confronted Pelosi and pushed her and other leaders to act.
Pelosi has said she believes Trump is "goading" Democrats into impeachment. And Trump appeared to relish the Democratic division in a Wednesday tweet: "The Democrats are getting ZERO work done in Congress."
Democrats leaving the meeting appeared to be taking Pelosi's words into consideration. Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, who called for the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, said he could see both sides.
Of leaders' reluctance, Cohen said "it's a political concern rather than an actual Constitutional one."