Pelosi: 'The Russians have something on the president'

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump says he opposes mail-in voting for November On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans The bipartisan neutering of the Congressional Budget Office MORE (D-Calif.) blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE on Monday following his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling for Americans to “vote out the sell-outs” in the GOP and asserting that “the Russians have something on the president.”

The California Democrat said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans 13 things to know for today about coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyPelosi scales back coronavirus infrastructure proposal Democrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Top GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid MORE (R-Calif.) aren't doing enough to push back against the president's stance on Moscow after he supported Putin’s denial of interfering in the 2016 election.


"If Donald Trump failed to stand up to Putin in front of the press, what makes you think Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell and Republicans in Washington will defend us from a foreign adversary's attack?" she tweeted. "They've done nothing. It's on us to vote out the sell-outs."

Pelosi’s attack made no mention of Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.), who is retiring after this Congress.

Pelosi noted that 12 more Russians were indicted on Friday for election interference, arguing Trump "embarrassingly failed to stand up to the person who spearheaded the attack."

"Seriously, what does Putin have on Trump that's he's so afraid?” she asked.

“President Trump’s weakness in front of Putin was embarrassing, and proves that the Russians have something on the President, personally, financially or politically.”

Before the press conference, Pelosi hammered Trump for not pressing the issue of Russia's election interference during his private meeting with Putin, saying there’s a simple reason for the president’s reluctance to take on Moscow more aggressively: fear.

“The president, in my view, was afraid to mention the subject at hand: 12 indictments against people connected to the intelligence community in Russia trying to disrupt our elections,” she said during a pro-democracy forum in Washington hosted the Center for American Progress Action Fund. 

“So from the standpoint of that conversation, I think the president was afraid to bring it up. We know he wasn’t being diplomatic; that’s not his modus operandi. And it begs the question: What does Vladimir Putin, what do the Russians have on Donald Trump personally, politically and financially that he would behave in such a manner, and in doing so just barreling his way through Europe undermining our allies?”

Pelosi went on to say she's supportive of world leaders meeting and finding common ground, but feels it's not useful if the president fails to "face the realities that are there."

"The reality is that the Russian government was a party to the disruption, those associated with the Russian government were a party to the disruption of our government, of our democracy, and our commitment is about people understanding [that]. … We know they’re suppressing it enough on the Republican side, but no suppression of the vote by tactics used by a foreign government,” she said.

Pelosi's remarks echo those from Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar Trump lashes out at Schumer over call for supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.), who said the Helsinki press conference leaves "a single, ominous question ... over the White House."

"What could possibly cause President Trump to put the interests of Russia over those of the United States? Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump," Schumer said.