Breaking News Emails
In an interview with the Washington Post published Monday, Pelosi said, "I'm not for impeachment."
Pelosi told the paper, "Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it."
But asked if she thought Trump was "fit" to be president, Pelosi said, "No. I don't think he is. I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit. No, I don't think he's fit to be president of the United States," she said, before chiding herself for "coming across too negatively."
In the same interview, she complimented Trump with a laugh, calling him "a great organizer for Democrats, a great fundraiser for Democrats and a great mobilizer at the grassroots level for Democrats. And I think that's good for America."
Billionaire Tom Steyer, who's been running television advertisements calling for Trump to be impeached, blasted Pelosi for her comments.
"Speaker Pelosi thinks 'he's just not worth it?' Well, is defending our legal system 'worth it?' Is holding the President accountable for his crimes and cover-ups 'worth it?' Is doing what’s right 'worth it?' Or shall America just stop fighting for our principles and do what's politically convenient?" he said in a statement.
Pelosi told NBC News later Monday that she wants Democrats to focus on their work.
"Lower healthcare costs, bigger paychecks by building the infrastructure of America and cleaner government by passing H.R.1. That's our agenda, that's our focus and to take our eye off that ball is not worth it and that's why I say impeachment is not worth it," she said. "It divides the country, unless there is some conclusive evidence that takes us to that place."
The issue has been on the president's mind. In an an interview with CBS on Super Bowl Sunday, Trump said, "The only way they can win, because they can't win the election, is to bring out the artificial way of impeachment."
"It's supposed to be high crime and misdemeanors. Well, there was no high crime. There was no misdemeanor. There was no problem whatsoever," Trump said then.
Responding to Pelosi's comments on Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “impeachment should never be on the table because the president is doing a great job.”
As for Pelosi's comments on Trump's fitness to be president, Sanders said, “Most of America disagrees with her comments. That’s why they voted him into office.” Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 2.9 million votes.
CORRECTION (March 11, 2019, 7:28 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated who the House minority leader was during the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton. It was Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., not Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.