tv Speaker Pelosi on Syria White House Meeting CSPAN October 16, 2019 8:45pm-9:01pm EDT
thank you very much. reporter: the letter says, let's make a deal. is that a strong letter? announcer 2: after speaker pelosi's briefing with reporters at the white house with her meeting with president trump, shortly thereafter she spoke to reporters in the capital. ms. pelosi: good afternoon. we just came from a most unsatisfactory meeting at the white house. the meeting started by the president saying he didn't invite any of us there, we asked for the meeting. without going into that. when i, as speaker of the house i reported to the president that , shortly before the meeting we had a vote in the congress, 354-60 opposing his actions that he took in syria.
calling upon the turks to exercise restraint, asking us to have humanitarian assistance to the kurds, especially the children most of them as well , as, most importantly, asking the president what his plan was to fight isis now that he had disrupted what was going on in syria. he couldn't handle it. he just couldn't handle it. 2-1 the republicans voted to oppose what he was doing in syria. he just kind of engaged in a meltdown. we're trying to get the answer. what is your clear plan that this resolution asks for, for how we fight, how we fight isis? it was very sad. it was very sad. mr. hoyer: we have obviously a crisis. we had a resolution that said the policy that we are pursuing,
that was taken, was not agreed to by the overwhelming number of the house of representatives. we need a reasonable, rational discussion between the president and a co-equal branch of government, the house and the senate. unfortunately, the president came in, to my observation, angry and defensive. and frankly, it got worse from there. we did have an explanation of what was being executed, but no answer to the speaker and the majority leader schumer's question of what is our plan from here. the meeting shortly thereafter deteriorated into a very disrespectful assertion about the speaker of the house who is
after all third in line to be president of the united states and heads up the congress of the united states as the speaker. it was obvious the meeting was going to get angrier and more defensive, and we felt that the meeting was no longer a meeting in which we thought we'd get useful discussion and results. and so we left. but it is sad for our country that at a time of crisis, the president who said first of all he didn't invite us, we didn't invite ourselves, and we didn't ask for the meeting. i understand the speaker did ask for a briefing of all the members, republicans and democrats, of what had happened and was happening. rather, we were invited down to the white house, and although he did not walk out, as he did in a meeting that we had on infrastructure, which as you recall we came out of the first meeting on infrastructure that had very positive notice saying the president and democrats had
had a very positive meeting about infrastructure. unfortunately, this was not a positive meeting. unfortunately at a time of crisis, the president chose to be derogatory and accusatory and it was unfortunate for the country. ms. pelosi: what's truly sad about it is i pray for the president all the time. i tell him that. i pray for him and his family. we should pray for his health. meltdown onerious the part of the president. i have expressed appreciation for what our troops have done in syria and by all accounts from the generals, they had done the job very well. he is now pulling out. the explanation of what that is what we asked for all members to hear, and that was supposed to be tomorrow, but that's not going to happen. my concern that i expressed to the president is, russia has for
a long time wanted to have a foothold in the middle east and now has happened. it is all roads lead to prudent, -- lead to putin, it's placing in doubt assistance to the ukraine which is to the benefit of putin, and our commitment to the united nations. nato article five, the list goes on and on. that seems to have angered the president. in any event, this is -- this is very serious. isis, the protection of our homeland, it's an oath we take to protect and defend, it's very serious, and it was very sad. i think probably the president couldn't hand they will fact that the vote was so overwhelming in opposition to his -- to what he did in syria, and again not being able to give us a clear picture of what his
plan was to protect us. -- from isis. reporter: you said that you pray for his health now in the aftermath of what you're calling a meltdown. are you suggesting he's mentally unwell in any way? ms. pelosi: i'm not talking mentally, i'm just talking handling the truth. reporter: the most powerful tool the congress has is the power of the purse. fund the government by the middle of november here. would you foresee, or why toldn't you, strictures reverse the policy and mandate of those troops? wouldn't that be the automatic solution? ms. pelosi: i don't think that would work. >> why not? ms. pelosi: that's harder than you might think. the president is the commander in chief. the decisions that are made, hopefully are made with the concurrence of the department of defense and our men and women. this is -- what the president did was dangerous.
and again, we have not only troops there, but equipment there and the rest. i don't know if he understood the situation but i don't think , that's something you can deal with in appropriations. mr. hoyer: let me just say, we worked very hard to open up the government. we were shut down when the republicans were in charge. most of the government agencies were closed. we are prepared to cooperate with the administration and with our republican colleagues to ensure that the government is funded and serving the american people and defending the american people. and as you know, we passed 96% of government funding to the senate. the senate has not passed any appropriations bills. we're concerned about that. but we're going to work very hard between now and november 21 and thereafter if necessary, i hope it's not necessary, to get agreement so that the government can be operational. the american people expect that.
that is our duty. reporter: madam speaker, did the president bring up impeachment at all? do you think that factored in -- ms. pelosi: he did not. is int know what that interest to his behavior, but that was not a subject that was brought up at all. reporter: madam speaker, leader mccarthy came to the microphone after you left, he said after you left there were some democrats who remained, and he described the meeting after you left as productive, and by the way saying that somehow you managed to make the meeting political and more about the way you and the leadership were being treated. ms. pelosi: maybe that's what he thought when i said the house of representatives voted 354-60 against the president's policy. maybe he considered that political. but i don't didn't have any , intentions of -- mr. hoyer: i have worked with leader mccarthy and tried to be constructive because he tries to , be constructive. but i don't consider him an
objective source of information on president trump. reporter: what does president trump's behavior toward you mean about working with him on usmca and other things? do you still work with him? ms. pelosi: it's not important in that regard, we'll do what we need to do for the american people. that has nothing to do with him. successfully achieve something for the american people but there is no reason not to do it because there is collateral benefit to him. again we're here for the american people. we are not here -- what it means to him. >> is there any doubt in your mind -- reporter: do you think future meetings with the president are no longer necessary because of the way the meetings have blown up in the past? ms. pelosi: we were invited to a meeting at the white house that the president immediately started off by saying that we asked for the meeting which we had not. that was a minor thing. it was not a particularly hospitable opening to the
meeting, but who cares. who cares. what matters is the president made a very dangerous decision when it came to syria and the turks and the kurds. without much understanding of what was at risk there. 354 members of the house concurred that they did not -- they opposed the president's decision. i think it rattled him. reporter: is there any doubt the house will impeach the president -- is there any doubt the house will impeach the president at this point? ms. pelosi: that's a different conversation. we will go down the path where the truth takes us, but that decision -- that decision hasn't been made. i am not even going to -- these are two different conversations. not agreeing with the policy of the president of the united states, that is a matter to have a debate a specific debate,
, and a matter for the election. impeachment is a completely different subject. reporter: starting the meeting on the wrong foot, leader schumer said he called you a third-rate politician. ms. pelosi: no, third grade. and i said i wished he were a politician. >> not going to be -- ms. pelosi: the fact is that we were trying to have a factual basis, a calm, factual basis about the security of our country. there were certain, shall we say -- mr. hoyer: there were a number of things that the president said which were obviously meant to be derogatory toward the democrats, generally, and president obama in particular. -- in particular that were not conducive to any sort of rational, reasonable discussion, about a crisis that confronts the country of the president's
making. the meeting went downhill relatively quickly unfortunately. from our perspective. reporter: referring to president obama's policy in syria? or more generally? mr. hoyer: i don't want to get into specifics, but it became a derogatory meeting from the president's side and that -- it went downhill. ms. pelosi: i would say this. i think it's a very sad commentary on the president of the united states that he doesn't have enough confidence in what he's doing to listen to other points of view, especially the overwhelming vote of the house of representatives and have some level of respect for that. and again melted him down and he behaved accordingly. does that mean we can't have future meetings? no. just depends on the subject, i guess. does it mean we can't pass things together? working together? yes, we can, we will.
because it is a benefit to him and will never be a deterrent for us to do what is right for the american people. but there has to be some level of value, of calmness, of patriotism, a love of our country and our system, and not a personal invective because he didn't like the way a vote went on any given day. i said i want to end where i began. we praised our troops and the wonderful work that they have done. all just very praiseworthy. always. in this particular instance we documented how well they have protected the american people from isis. and so we thank them for that. and i conveyed that to the chairman of the joint chiefs. and to the secretary of defense. but the fact is also that president said i promise to bring the troops home and that's what i'm doing.
my comment is home? saudi arabia? now we're sending troops to saudi arabia, what's that about? he doesn't like to have to answer questions. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] journal" live every day. coming up thursday morning, former u.s. senators chris dodd and rick santorum discuss their work in the bipartisan policy center's tax force on paid family leave. a look at the battleground 2020 senate races to watch and third-quarter campaign fundraising reports. journal" liveton at 7:00 eastern thursday morning. join the discussion. >> a house administration
subcommittee will hold a hearing on voting rights and election administration. watch live thursday morning at 10:00 eastern on c-span3, online at c-span.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. next, a senate foreign relations hearing with brian hook, he serves as the state department special representative for iran. he was asked about iran's nuclear capabilities and the potential impact of withdrawing u.s. troops from syria. this is just over 2.5 hours. >> foreign relations committee of the senate will come to order. the chair would note we have a