President Donald Trump lambasted Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the heels of her announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry into his conduct, claiming that she’s “not interested in guns and gun protection and gun safety” and that she isn’t the speaker of the House anymore in his mind.
“Look, she’s lost her way. She’s been taken over by the radical left. She may be radical left herself, but she really has lost her way,” said Trump during a meeting at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump said that he spoke to Pelosi to discuss gun reform on Tuesday, the same day as her impeachment announcement, but claimed that she “didn’t even know what I was talking about.”
“Nancy Pelosi is not interested in guns and gun protection and gun safety. All she’s thinking about is this,” the president said.
Trump went on to say that Pelosi, as far as he’s concerned, “is no longer the speaker of the House.”
As NPR has noted in 2015, “ousting a sitting speaker is nearly impossible.” In practice, a majority of House members have to decide they don’t want the current speaker and they can agree on a new speaker. The president has no say in the matter.
Also on Tuesday, the White House released its summary of a July 25 phone call between the American and Ukrainian presidents. In the call, Trump asked Zelensky to “do us a favor, though,” immediately after Zelensky told Trump that he was grateful for U.S. military aid to his country.
The implication was that Trump was linking the provision of military aid to Zelensky’s complying with that favor. The implied threat became the catalyst for Democrats to push for Trump’s impeachment.
As for Pelosi, despite her focus on impeachment this week, she has made more strides towards gun reform just this month. Alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Pelosi called on Trump to “defy the National Rifle Association and get behind legislation, already passed by the House but blocked in the Senate, to expand background checks to nearly all gun buyers,” according to The New York Times.
In a September letter to the president, Schumer and Pelosi wrote that his “urgent, personal intervention is needed to stem the endless massacres of our fellow Americans by gunfire” and that he had a “historic opportunity to save lives.”