GOP leader says he had 'a hard time' believing Pelosi

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership MORE (R-Calif.) said he has a “hard time believing” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE’s (D-Calif.) assertion on Thursday that she does not hate President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE

His remarks come in the wake of Pelosi lashing out at Sinclair reporter James Rosen for asking whether she hates the president earlier in the day, telling him “as a Catholic I resent you using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me.”

The California Democrat went on to assert she does not believe the impeachment inquiry is politically motivated.

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McCarthy said he would take Pelosi at her word, but when pressed by Rosen on whether he believes what Pelosi said, McCarthy replied: “I think I have a hard time believing it.”

McCarthy accused Democrats of aiming to impeach Trump as soon as he took office, pointing to freshman progressive firebrand Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE’s (D-Mich.) controversial remarks calling for his impeachment in January. 

“I'll take them at their word what Congresswoman Tlaib said their very first day in Congress of what she referred to the president, which I wouldn't think anyone would want it referred to them, that she was going to impeach them,” McCarthy told reporters at a press conference.

Tlaib made headlines in 2019 by saying that Congress would impeach Trump, using a profane term to describe him.

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“Or when [Rep.] Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Schiff pushes back: Defense team knows Trump is guilty MORE [D-Calif.] lied to the American public, only to get to the point where they are today. Or when he said he was going to ‘send him back to the golden throne.’ "

"I'll take the Speaker at her word, but if she paused for a moment, she looked at just the facts, she would not have made that determination," McCarthy said of the decision to move forward with impeachment. 

McCarthy said the decision would weaken the nation, and he accused Democrats of putting impeachment over dealing with the nation's problems.

“This is the day the nation is weaker because they surely cannot put their animosity or their fear of losing an election in the future in front of all the other things that the American people want," he said.

"They don't even have a budget. We don't even have a trade agreement that was signed more than a year ago to make this country stronger, for not lowering drug prices,” added McCarthy, referring to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

“We are not rebuilding this nation. Why? Because the timeline that they started from the day they were sworn in, down to the very freshmen announcing what they would do on the night they were sworn in to the selection of the chairs who would oversee the impeachment has come true today. It's not a day that history will be proud of. It's not a day I hope America ever repeats.”