May 26, 2019

Jeffries: Trump ‘pretends to be a tough guy’

President Donald Trump is little more than a “studio gangster” who “pretends to be a tough guy,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said Sunday morning.

“You know, the president didn’t just walk out on a meeting with [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and infrastructure, Chuck. He walked out on the American people,” the New York Democrat told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

Trump walked out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats last week, effectively ending negotiations for the time being, stating that he wouldn’t resume work with them until they stop investigating him.

“Donald Trump is functionally a studio gangster,” Jeffries said. “He pretends to be a tough guy, but he his really just playing that role on TV. Hopefully, he will have gotten this temper tantrum out of his system. He can come back from Japan. We have crumbling bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, mass transportation systems. We need to get to work to fix it. We have a plan and we’d like to do it in a bipartisan way.”

Jeffries isn’t quite ready to start impeachment hearings.

“We don’t work for Donald Trump,” he said. “We work for the American people. We have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on a potentially out-of-control executive branch. But we will not overreach. We will not overinvestigate. We will not overpoliticize that responsibility. We will proceed as Speaker Pelosi has laid out, methodically yet aggressively to get to the truth.

“The only way to proceed is to make sure that politics don’t dictate a decision to impeach or politics don’t dictate a decision not to impeach,” Jeffries added. “We need to follow the facts. We need to apply the law. We need to make sure that the Constitution is the guiding principle in terms of the way forward.”