WASHINGTON – The top two Democrats in Congress questioned President Donald Trump’s motive for abruptly ending a scheduled Wednesday morning meeting at the White House to continue talks on a tentative deal on a $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
“He just took a pass. And it just makes me wonder why he did that,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol.
She added: “I pray for the president of the United States. And I pray for the United States of America.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the outcome of the brief meeting have may been pre-planned.
“It’s clear that this was not a spontaneous move on the President’s part. It was planned. When we got in the room, the curtains were closed. The president — there was a place for him at the front so he could stand and attempt to tell us why he wouldn’t do infrastructure. And, of course, then he went to the Rose Garden with prepared signs that had been printed up long before our meeting.”
He added: “We are interested in doing infrastructure. It’s clear the president isn’t.”
Shortly after the meeting, Trump held a news conference at the White House Rose Garden. The president said he told Schumer, Pelosi and the other Democratic lawmakers in attendance that he could not work with them on infrastructure until they got these “phony investigations” into his administration “over with.”
The point of contention arose from comments Pelosi made earlier in the day when she told reporters in her that she believes Trump is “engaged in a cover-up.”
Trump said of Pelosi’s claim: “I don’t do cover-ups.”
Pelosi made the comments came after a closed-door meeting with House Democrats in which members discussed the status of ongoing investigations. The meeting was arranged on Tuesday after several high-ranking Democrats insinuated that recent events may have made impeachment proceedings necessary.
Pelosi has eschewed talk of impeachment.
Three weeks ago, Trump met with Schumer, Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers at the White House to begin infrastructure talks. Today’s meeting was set up to discuss how to pay for the proposal.
Last night, Trump wrote Pelosi and Schumer to suggest that Congress approve the administration’s trade reform proposal before pivoting to infrastructure.