U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday cut off infrastructure talks with congressional Democratic leaders, demanding House Democrats to end their “phony investigations” before talks resume.
“I’ve said from the beginning that you probably can’t go down two tracks … You can go down the investigation track or you can go down the investment track … We’re going to go down one track at a time,” Trump told reporters in the White House Rose Garden after the meeting abruptly ended.
Earlier on Wednesday, after a closed-door meeting with all House Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said House Democrats “believe the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.”
“I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump responded during his remarks.
Trump said he was dismayed to learn that Pelosi had convened a meeting before their meeting on infrastructure “to talk about the i-word,” referring to impeachment.
Regarding the bipartisan initial plan to spend 2 trillion U.S. dollars on infrastructure, Trump said he told Pelosi and Schumer: “You can’t do it under these circumstances. So, get these phony investigations over with.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Trump was prepared to quickly end the meeting.
“To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop,” Schumer said afterwards, “It’s clear this was not a spontaneous move on the president’s part. It was planned.”
House Democratic leaders are facing increased pressure to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, which has further raised partisan tensions in Washington.