House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine are “so much worse” than former President Richard Nixon’s actions in the Watergate scandal, which prompted his resignation from office.
Pelosi, during an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday, discussed the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry that focuses on Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
“It’s really a sad thing,” she said. “What the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did. But at some point, Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue.”
Faced with impeachment and the near certainty that the Senate would vote to remove him from office, Nixon resigned in August 1974.
Trump has described his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the focal point of a subsequent whistleblower complaint and the impeachment inquiry, as a “perfect conversation.” He has dismissed the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry as a “witch hunt.”
Several State Department officials have testified that Trump used military aid as leverage in his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden. Pelosi told CBS that “of course” there’s a connection between the whistleblower filing his complaint and Trump eventually releasing the congressionally approved aid.
She said Trump has “every opportunity to make his case” before House impeachment investigators, including testifying before the House Intelligence Committee or answering questions in writing.
Trump on Monday said he would “strongly consider” Pelosi’s suggestion that he testify.
“Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!” the president tweeted.
Pelosi’s comments followed the first week of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry that included testimonies from acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled from that position by Trump in May.
Asked if Democrats had a good week, Pelosi responded that “the American people have had a good week.”
“I think truth has had a good week,” she continued. “I think patriotism has had a good week. And I think the Constitution has had a good week. I don’t think the president has had a good week.”
This article has been updated to include Trump’s tweet.