Pelosi: Trump made 'terrible mistake' by cutting off coronavirus aid talks

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGohmert says Jan. 6 mob attack on Capitol not an 'armed insurrection' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' GOP Rep. Turner to lead House push to address military sexual assault MORE (D-Calif.) blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE on Wednesday for abruptly calling off negotiations over a package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, calling the order a "terrible mistake."

A day before, Trump tweeted that he had instructed his aides to stop negotiating with Pelosi on coronavirus relief until after the election.

But then late Tuesday night — after stocks took a dive on the news of no deal until after the election — Trump reversed course and called on Congress to approve piecemeal measures like another round of stimulus checks, $25 billion for the airline industry and additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses.


"It’s hard to see any clear sane path on what he’s doing, but the fact is he saw the political downside of his statement of walking away from the negotiations," Pelosi said on ABC's "The View." "He’s just again rebounding from a terrible mistake he made yesterday. And the Republicans in Congress are going down the drain with him on that."

Pelosi has held firm on passing an expansive coronavirus aid package rather than passing smaller, more targeted measures.

“It’s interesting that he said he’d send out those checks if we sent him that bill, because all he has ever wanted in the negotiation was to send out a check with his name on it. Forget about the virus, forget about our heroes, forget about our children and their need to go to school safely,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi had been scheduled to speak by phone with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE on Tuesday afternoon, but learned from Trump's tweets shortly beforehand that the negotiations had been called off.

Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke again Wednesday morning about aid for the airline industry, which has been hit hard by the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic.


House Democrats tried to pass a standalone relief bill authored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioHillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Top Democrat: FCC actions are a 'potential setback' to autonomous vehicles Biden's infrastructure plan builds a stronger foundation for seniors MORE (D-Ore.) on Friday by unanimous consent, but Republicans blocked it. 

“The secretary inquired about a standalone airlines bill. The speaker reminded him that Republicans blocked that bill on Friday & asked him to review the DeFazio bill so that they could have an informed conversation,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted.

Pelosi, when asked, dismissed the idea of picking up the phone to speak with Trump or going to the White House, where Trump is recovering after being hospitalized over the weekend with COVID-19, which several aides have also tested positive for.

"I don’t want to go anywhere near the White House. It’s one of the most dangerous places in the country," Pelosi said.

Pelosi and Trump have not had an extended, in-person conversation in almost a year. They last met at the White House on Oct. 16, 2019, about Syria policy, which subsequently melted down with Pelosi leaving the meeting and telling reporters at the Capitol afterward that "we have to pray for his health." 


They were last in proximity to each other at the State of the Union address in early February, as well as the National Prayer Breakfast two days later.

Pelosi confirmed that she had suggested to House Democrats on a caucus call shortly after Trump called off the coronavirus aid talks Tuesday that she had questioned the effect of the medications he is taking for COVID-19 treatment. 

"Last time I had an interaction with the president was the State of the Union address and after that, you know, I tore up the speech and all. But after that, I said to my staff, I said I think he was medicated, there's something wrong with how he came on and presented," Pelosi said.

"I said yesterday to my colleagues, I said there are those who say that steroids have an impact on people's thinking. I don't know, but there are those health care providers who say that," she added.