In the middle of a press conference about federal aid for U.S. farmers, President Trump spent about 7 minutes calling on his top aides to explain to the press how calm he was while meeting with Democratic Congressional leaders a day earlier.
Trump began by attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for accusing him of throwing a “temper tantrum” and storming out of a meeting at the White House the previous day after he demanded an end to congressional investigations into his administration.
The president called on several White House aides, including counselor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to confirm his “calm” demeanor during Wednesday’s brief meeting.
“Does anyone know Sarah Huckabee Sanders?” Trump asked the room. “Sarah, we’re just talking about the meeting yesterday … the narrative is I was screaming and ranting and raving … just out of curiosity, you were there, what was my tone at the meeting?”
“Very calm, I’ve seen both and this was definitely not angry or ranting,” Sanders, the White House press secretary, responded to laughs in the room.
Here is a 7+ minute video, from ABC, of Trump calling on multiple senior aides to defend him and vouch for his ‘calm’ demeanor in the infrastructure meeting with Democrats after Nancy Pelosi said that he’d had a temper tantrum. pic.twitter.com/iiLcrjnTe4
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 23, 2019
Trump called on several other White House officials to weigh in, including deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, and communications aide Mercedes Schlapp.
“Kellyanne, what was my temperament yesterday?” he asked Conway.
“Very calm. No tamper tantrum,” she responded.
Trump’s comments came after Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters that they were shocked that the White House was apparently unwilling to support a $2 trillion infrastructure deal unless Democrats dropped various investigations into Trump’s finances and into whether he obstructed justice.
“We had hoped that we could give this president an opportunity to have a signature infrastructure initiative to create jobs, to improve the quality of life, to just do so much for our country,” the Speaker said Wednesday after the meeting.
“For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part that he really couldn’t match the greatness of the challenge that we have, wasn’t really respectful of the Congress and the White House working together, he just took a pass,” Pelosi added. “It just makes me wonder why he did that.”
Pelosi on Thursday suggested that Trump’s family stage an “intervention” for the sake of the country, while the president questioned her mental stability, saying “she’s lost it.”