Live

Watch CBSN Live

Nancy Pelosi tells reporter who asks if she hates Trump: "Don't mess with me"

Pelosi asking to proceed with articles of impeachment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi minced no words with a reporter Thursday who asked at the end of a press conference if she hates President Trump. Pelosi called the president "a coward" and "cruel," but she said she still prays for him — and she warned the reporter, "Don't mess with me."

As Pelosi walked out of her weekly press conference — soon after announcing that the Democrat-controlled House will begin drafting impeachment articles against Mr. Trump — Sinclair Broadcasting reporter James Rosen called out, "Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?"

The question stopped Pelosi in her tracks. She turned to face Rosen directly.

"I don't hate anybody," she said, pointing at him. "I don't hate anybody. Not anybody in the world."

Rosen pushed back on Pelosi saying he had "accused" her of hating the president. He pointed out that Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) claimed during Wednesday's impeachment hearing that Democrats want to impeach the president simply because they don't like him.

Pelosi then returned to her podium.

"I think the president is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence," she said. "I think he is cruel when he doesn't deal with helping our Dreamers, of which we are very proud. I think he's in denial about the climate crisis."

But those issues, she said, can be resolved in an election. She argued the impeachment process was about the Constitution and the president allegedly violating his oath of office.

"As a Catholic, I resent you're using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me," Pelosi said. "I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love and always pray for the president. And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time."

"So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that," she concluded. She then left the room.

After the press conference, Rosen retweeted a Fox News Radio journalist who defended his question, writing, "Questioning leaders isn't always comfortable."

President Trump responded with a tweet saying Pelosi "just had a nervous fit" and that he doesn't "believe" that she prays for him. 

View CBS News In