House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday questioned President Trump’s fitness for office amid reports that he disclosed classified information to Russian officials.
"Is he fit to be president of the United States when he would do such a thing?" Pelosi asked at the Center for American Progress' Ideas Conference in Washington.
"What the president did was totally outrageous. If it was unwitting, it would be pathetic and dangerous. But if it was intentional, I don't even know what is worse."
The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump disclosed sensitive intelligence to Russian politicians during a meeting last week in the Oval Office.
Senior administration officials sought to combat the story in statements, but Trump fanned the flames of the story with a series of Tuesday morning tweets.
"As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining … to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism," he tweeted.
Pelosi on Tuesday ripped Trump for putting Russian President Vladimir Putin “on a pedestal” and accused him of undermining NATO.
Many Democrats have called on a special prosecutor to be appointed and an independent commission to probe Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any ties between Moscow and Trump campaign aides. Pelosi said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shouldn’t oversee the investigation and argued that it should be someone who’s not appointed by Trump.
While Pelosi said that getting to the bottom of the allegations is of paramount importance, she noted that having a Republican Congress with subpoena power over a Republican president acts as a deterrent against oversight.
It’s a message top Democrats will likely tout in the 2018 campaign as they seek to win back control of the House.
“The power of subpoena makes all the difference in the world and the majority owns the power of subpoena,” Pelosi said.
She also used the recent Russia news to pressure Trump to release his tax returns, something he has refused to do.
“That is not in our national security interests,” Pelosi said. “What do the Russians have on him politically, personally?”
- Updated at 11:43 a.m.