U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wasn’t interested in perpetuating her war of words with President Donald Trump during her visit to the Twin Cities on Friday.
“I’m done with that. I’m done with that,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a brief interview with the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio.
“We have a responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution and to do whatever investigations are necessary to honor our congressional responsibility to do so. I’m not getting in a give-and-take with the president,” Pelosi said.
She had no such qualms earlier this week as the two leaders exchanged personal insults. Trump called her “Crazy Nancy” and “a mess” after Pelosi suggested that the president’s family should stage an intervention to deal with his erratic behavior.
Trump said Friday as he left for Japan that he “can work with the speaker” despite the feud that erupted after he walked out of a Wednesday meeting about infrastructure.
Asked in the interview whether Minnesota-style civility can be returned to Washington, Pelosi said, “We think that it can if everybody honors the oath that we take to the Constitution. … What you’re seeing there now is very unusual. Very unusual.”
“It will change when we have a new president of the United States,” she said. “I don’t know if he can be changed.”
She spoke after a roundtable discussion on community health centers that was organized by Fourth District U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center, a neighborhood service center in St. Paul.
Pelosi, who was also joined by Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, praised McCollum for her work and her “heartland values” and said her “judgment is infallible.” In the interview, the speaker cited freshman U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democrat who represents the Third District, for his work on a cleaner government initiative.
The group discussion focused on ways government can expand community centers and included state and local leaders and representatives from Minnesota Community Care, United Family Medicine and Open Cities Health Center. Pelosi said an eventual federal infrastructure deal should include funding to build more such facilities.
Pelosi also touched on the opioid crisis and Democrats’ court fight to prevent a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census.
Later Friday, Pelosi was to give the keynote address at the DFL’s Humphrey-Mondale dinner, the party’s annual fundraiser.
Trump has said that he can carry Minnesota, which he lost narrowly in 2016, in next year’s election. “I believe in the people of Minnesota,” Pelosi said when asked if he can do so.
The speaker said she’s not concerned about the views of Democratic presidential candidates who have endorsed the Green New Deal, free college and Medicare for All.
“That’s a values debate that is a beautiful thing to hear,” she said. “The public will decide which ones connect with them. … Our diversity is our strength, our unity is our power.”
Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said in a statement that Pelosi’s visit was meant to “spread the Democrats’ message of … blocking, obstructing and, apparently, working towards impeaching” Trump.
While they “celebrate dysfunction, obstruction and little progress in Washington,” Carnahan said, Republicans are preparing to share Trump’s successes “so we can celebrate on election night 2020.”