During an appearance on MSNBC on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended not speaking to Donald Trump face-to-face since October of last year, The Hill reported. In regards to the stalled coronavirus relief package discussions, Pelosi said she has been interacting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“Well, I’ve spoken to his representatives and he says that they speak for him. And I take that to be true about the secretary of the Treasury and we have worked together,” she said.
Per Breitbart, Pelosi highlighted that she has worked with Trump’s administration on four COVID-19 bills that passed with bipartisan support — something she hopes can be achieved with the potentially forthcoming bill.
Nevertheless, Pelosi said Trump has shown himself to be unreliable and speaking with him is not a “good use of time.”
“Quite frankly, my experience with the president has been that it hasn’t been on the level. You know, he’ll say something and then it doesn’t really happen. So in the interest of time, we’ll work with who he sends over.”
During Pelosi’s last meeting with Trump in October 2019, she walked out of the meeting, which was allegedly highlighted by both sides throwing insults at one another. In February of the same year, the pair attended the National Prayer Breakfast, where Trump took the opportunity to make veiled attacks against the 80-year-old politician.
The pair have traded barbs on numerous occasions, including one where Pelosi called Trump “morbidly obese.” In response, the president called the politician a “sick woman” with “mental problems.”
While Trump and Pelosi continue to avoid contact, Mnuchin said on CNBC on Monday that he is still committed to working on a coronavirus deal and sparked hopes of an agreement in Congress that could provide more federal pandemic aid, Cape Breton Post reported.
“I will continue to work on this. I’ve told the speaker I’m available anytime to negotiate, no conditions,” he said.
As noted by Cape Breton Post, Pelosi’s House of Representatives passed a $3.4 trillion aid bill in May. In response, the Republican-led Senate created a $1 trillion counter-proposal, which failed to gain sufficient support. After creating a subsequent $300 billion measure, the bill was stopped in the Senate by a Democratic filibuster.
Although Trump could take some executive actions amid the stalled negotiations — as he did in August — Mnuchin claimed that these actions are limited. He also stressed the importance of a stimulus aimed at helping struggling areas of the economy.