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Pelosi says resolution condemning Trump tweets was "gentle"

Pelosi defends "gentle" resolution condemning Trump
Pelosi defends "gentle" resolution condemning Trump tweets 15:19

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference on Wednesday, a day earlier than usual, after the House passed a resolution on Tuesday condemning President Trump's racist tweets targeting four progressive congresswomen.

The measure condemning the tweets passed by a vote of 240 to 187, with every Democratic member voting in favor. The four Republicans who voted to approve the measure were Reps. Will Hurd of Texas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan and Susan Brooks of Indiana.

When asked what kind of message she believed the vote would send to Mr. Trump, Pelosi noted that the vote was a resolution in the House only and did not require passage in the Senate or the president's signature. She also said that the resolution criticized Mr. Trump in a "gentle way," as only his words were condemned, not his person.

"That was as gentle as it could be considering the inappropriateness and the disgusting nature of what the president said," Pelosi said.

Pelosi added that she was not surprised that the measure did not get the support of many Republicans. "My expectations are not great but you always hope that they might do the right thing," she said.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump targeted Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar in a series of tweets, writing that the representatives — three of whom were born in the U.S., and all American citizens — should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

She declined to comment on potential discord in the Democratic caucus due to ideological differences, saying "let's not waste our time on that." She called Trump a "great distractor" for trying to pull attention away from the Democratic agenda in Congress.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King, the four congresswomen — colloquially known as "the Squad" — called Mr. Trump's remarks a distraction. 

The president's attacks came in the midst of a dispute between the progressive lawmakers and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one that had spilled into public view in recent weeks. Pelosi has downplayed the members' influence in crafting and passing legislation, leading Ocasio-Cortez to accuse the speaker of "singling out newly elected women of color."

In Tuesday's interview, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib said they were willing to meet face to face with Pelosi to try to resolve their differences.

Pelosi was also be asked how House leaders will deal with Texas Rep. Al Green's introduction of articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump. Green said Tuesday that Mr. Trump is unfit for office and "enough is enough." While Green's measure will "likely" be addressed Wednesday afternoon or evening, it's not certain that the House will vote to bring articles of impeachment against the president. House leadership could also table the vote or send it to a committee.

Pelosi called Green "a very prayerful person," but noted that several House committees were conducting investigations into the president's behavior, perhaps rendering impeachment unnecessary.

"I don't know what we will do but we will deal with it on the floor," Pelosi said about the articles of impeachment. That means it is still unclear whether leadership will allow a vote, try to table the resolution, or try to send it back to committee when the House votes on it Wednesday evening.

Emily Tillett, Rebecca Kaplan and Camilo Montoya-Galvez contributed to this report

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