Nancy Pelosi is, in a word, a mess.
We’ve catalogued the House Democratic leader’s repeated missteps and endless verbal blunders, which are now simply too numerous to list. But as she does, Pelosi has outdone herself once again.
Like most Democrats, Pelosi is freaked out by the House vote on Monday to release a four-page memo that outlines allegations that former president Barack Obama’s Justice Department and his hand-picked minions at the FBI abused a surveillance program in order to spy on President-elect Donald Trump.
On Monday, she got into a heated argument with Chris Cuomo, an anchor at Dem-friendly CNN. When asked about the memo, she called the document a “total misrepresentation” and said it should be reviewed by intelligence officials before it is made public (which the House on Monday voted to do).
At one point, Cuomo asked Pelosi why FBI Director Christopher Wray has not objected to the release of the document. Pelosi lost it. “Let me just say this with all due respect, you really don’t know what you’re talking about right now,” she spat at Cuomo, then proceeded to stammer and stutter her weak reasons why the memo should not be released.
That’s been the strategy of top Democrats throughout: Argue that the memo, produced by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and his staff, cannot be understood if viewed without the massive supporting documentation.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) last week said Congress cannot release the memo because the American public won’t be able to understand it.
“Well, because the American people, unfortunately, don’t have the underlying materials and therefore they can’t see how distorted and misleading this document is,” Schiff said over the weekend. “The Republicans are not saying ‘Make the underlying materials available to the public.'”
But the memo likely will go public soon. In an effort to distract, Pelosi said its contents are all part of a “cover-up.”
“I think [House Speaker Paul Ryan] has a major responsibility and what I call a cover up of what they are doing, it’s really very sad,” Pelosi said in the CNN interview. “But again, it’s a cover up, it’s a distraction. What really we are trying to do right now is keep government open. They have a problem with that because they are ineffective.”
And as she politicized the GOP effort to get to the bottom of the matter, she said, “This is not to be politicized. … It’s not about making up a false memo.”
Democrats also argue that it would be unprecedented for Trump to release the memo, which contains classified information (which would first be declassified and redacted, no doubt). Said columnist Ann Coulter:
In 2009, Obama’s release of “exhaustive details about interrogation methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency could lead to a flood of new disclosures about secret Bush administration operations against Al Qaeda,” The New York Times reported.
Republicans, meanwhile, say the American people can make up their own minds. They argue that the memo details clear evidence of an anti-Trump bias both at the Justice Department and within Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s supposed interference in the 2016 election.
If you can stomach nine minutes of Pelosi stammering and stuttering as she tries to explain away the contents of the memo, you can watch the clip below.