Live

Watch CBSN Live

Pelosi talks Trump-Ukraine call, "Grim Reaper" Mitch McConnell, and public impeachment hearings with Colbert

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a busy Thursday, leading a House vote on the next steps of the impeachment inquiry and then appearing on "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert. 

Pelosi somehow managed to find time to get from D.C. to New York City, where Colbert tapes his show. She first thanked the late-night comedian for his patriotism, then explained the vote on impeachment procedures. 

"What everyone has to understand is no one is above the law. No one — not even the president of the United States," Pelosi said to a round of applause from the audience. While the conversation stayed mostly serious and political, Pelosi did crack a few jokes with Colbert.

"What we are defending is democracy," Pelosi said. "This isn't about his personality, his policies, his..." she was at a loss for words, but Colbert immediately jumped in with a silent Trump impression, mimicking the president's hand motions.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Trump Undermined Our National Security, To The Benefit Of The Russians by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube

Colbert said the White House couldn't see how corrupt the president's phone call with Ukraine seemed, and that the president himself lacks the empathy understand how people can perceive his corruption.

"Well, you're being very gentle," Pelosi joked.

"Well, how about this: He's really done," Colbert replied, taking it up a notch.

After a commercial break, Colbert and Pelosi continued their conversation, which lasted more than 20 minutes long in total. While Pelosi stayed serious, she did throw a few more jabs — this time, against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"The leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell... he has said that he is the Grim Reaper," Pelosi said. "Imagine describing yourself, a legislator, as the Grim Reaper — that everything we send over there will die in the Senate."

"And then in the next breath he said, 'Well, all they do is impeach.' Well, we sent him scores of bills," Pelosi continued, adding that the House has sent the Senate bills on gun violence prevention, climate action, net neutrality, combating violence against women, equal pay, raising the minimum wage, protecting young immigrant "Dreamers," and outlawing LGBTQ discrimination.

Speaker Pelosi: We've Sent "Grim Reaper" Mitch McConnell Scores Of Bills by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube

When Colbert asked Pelosi when public impeachment hearings would begin, she answered, vaguely, "They'll be soon." He asked her not to hold them at night, so he doesn't have to do live shows. "Can we have footage come in by say, 2 o'clock?" Colbert joked.

"That might be a consideration," Pelosi said. "But recognizing the seriousness of it, there's probably no more serious vote that members could take. Nobody comes to Congress to impeach a president."

"When we have to do this, I trust the work of the committee, and I'd be hard pressed to say, 'As you plan the schedule, think about the editing for the nightly [late night shows]," Pelosi added.

Colbert joked in reply, "Say my name. Say Stephen Colbert, because that may have more weight. It's the No. 1 show." 

When Colbert told Pelosi that Republicans feel she doesn't have what it takes to impeach the president, she scoffed at that idea. He asked, "It's already a rough political landscape. Are you prepared for how rough it's going to get? Because you know the guy's not going to go easy. Can you street fight?"

Pelosi acknowledged politics are "not for the faint of heart."

"If you're going to go into the arena, you have to be prepared to take a punch," she said. "But you also have to be prepared to throw a punch — for the children."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi On Donald Trump's Future As President by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube
View CBS News In