Blitzer resurfaced the interview on Wednesday as the House prepared to vote on impeachment. Just one day earlier, the president had sent Pelosi a lengthy, insult-laden diatribe condemning the two “baseless” articles of impeachment against him and describing the whole process as a “charade” and an “illegal, partisan attempted coup.”
“You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!” Trump wrote in the letter. In a tweet Wednesday, he added that Pelosi would “go down in history as worst Speaker. Already thrown out once!”
(Pelosi served as speaker from January 2007 to January 2011 and then resumed the role in January 2019.)
Trump had sung a different tune in the CNN interview.
“When she first got in and was named speaker, I met her, and I’m very impressed by her,” he said in 2008. “I think she’s a very impressive person. I like her a lot.”
Then Trump brought up impeachment.
“But I was surprised that she didn’t do more in terms of [President George W.] Bush and going after Bush,” Trump said. “It just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach Bush and get him out of office, which personally I think would have been a wonderful thing.”
Why? “For the [Iraq] war. For the war,” Trump said.
“Because of the conduct of the ―” Blitzer asked.
“Well, he lied,” Trump interjected. “He got us into the war with lies.”
He then pivoted to former President Bill Clinton, defending him and claiming his impeachment was “nonsense.”
“Look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant and they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense,” Trump said.
“And yet Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true.”
The House impeachment resolution states that Trump abused the power of his office and attempted to obstruct the investigation of that abuse in Congress like “no other” president in history.
“President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it states.
On Wednesday evening, Trump became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. The GOP-controlled Senate is widely expected to acquit him in a trial early next year.