During President Donald Trump’s rally earlier this week, Kennedy called the top Democrat “dumb.”
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to impeach him,” Kennedy said alongside Trump. “I don’t mean any disrespect, but it must suck to be that dumb,” he added.
On Friday, the senator defended his remarks, doubling down on his assessment of the San Francisco Democrat.
“Well, I didn’t mean disrespect,” he told Fox News, “but I do think what I said was accurate.”
Kennedy explained that he believes Pelosi’s decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump is not only “dumb,” but also dangerous for the country.
“Let me say it again: I think that what Speaker Pelosi is doing here is not only dumb, but it’s dangerous.”
According to the Louisiana senator, the investigation is “clearly” entirely “partisan,” and sets a bad precedent.
Kennedy said that the impeachment inquiry is a “100 percent political and it’s going to establish a new norm for America that I think is bad for us.”
Republicans have long alleged that the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, claiming that it is a continuation of a three-year witch hunt meant to take Trump down without having to vote him out of office.
GOP lawmakers have also complained about the process itself, blasting Democrats for holding behind-closed-door hearings with several current and former Trump administration officials thought to be familiar with the president’s dealings with the Ukrainian government.
Kennedy echoed Republican criticism during his Friday Fox News appearance, claiming that neither Pelosi nor other Democrats in the House care about due process.
According to the Louisiana senator, Pelosi “made up her mind before she saw the facts,” and has no interest in abiding by the norms.
Kennedy’s comments about Pelosi were widely condemned.
As Salon reported, Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and former Republican representative, said that the lawmaker has “degraded” himself with his comments, suggesting that history will remember him as someone who insulted and belittled Pelosi to protect Trump.
Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown said that he is “disappointed” with Kennedy’s comments, suggesting that the crowd’s reaction inspired the Republican to insult the House Speaker, according to MarketWatch. Brown also defended Pelosi, arguing that she is the best leader Congress has had in 100 years.
According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 45 percent of Americans have a negative view of Pelosi. More than a half, 53 percent, view Trump negatively, according to the poll.