Donald Trump’s clash with Democratic lawmakers reached new heights when top Democrats walked out of a White House meeting and House speaker Nancy Pelosi pitied the president for having a “meltdown”.
Pelosi and other top Democrats say they walked out of the contentious White House briefing on Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria after it devolved into an insult-fest and it became clear the president had no plan to deal with a potentially revival of Isis in the Middle East.
The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, told reporters Trump had called Pelosi a “third-rate politician”. He said the meeting “was not a dialogue, this was sort of a diatribe, a nasty diatribe not focused on the facts”.
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Pelosi said: “I pray for the president all the time … I think now we have to pray for his health – this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”
She added Democrats “couldn’t continue in the meeting because he was just not relating to the reality of it”.
Republicans pushed back, arguing it was Pelosi who’d been the problem. “She storms out of another meeting, trying to make it unproductive,” said the House GOP leader, Kevin McCarthy.
The White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, called Pelosi’s action “baffling but not surprising”.