Chuck Schumer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump captured the Republican Party and then the presidency in 2016 as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. As he mounts his bid for reelection, Trump is offering himself as the outsider once again — but it’s a much more awkward pitch to make from inside the Oval Office.

Trump is set to formally announce his 2020 bid on Tuesday at a rally in Orlando, Florida, where advisers said he aims to connect the dots between the promise of his disruptive first-time candidacy and his goals for another term in the White House. His promises to rock the ship of state are now more than an abstract pledge, though, complicated by his tumultuous 29 months at its helm.

Any president is inherently an insider. Trump has worked in the Oval Office for two years, travels the skies in Air Force One and changes the course of history with the stroke of a pen or the post of a tweet.

“We’re taking on the failed political establishment and restoring government of, by and for the people,” Trump said in a video released by his campaign Monday to mark his relaunch. “It’s the people, you’re the people, you won the election.”

That populist clarion was a central theme of his maiden political adventure, as the businessman-turned-candidate successfully appealed to disaffected voters who felt left behind by economic dislocation and demographic shifts. And he has no intention of abandoning it, even if he is the face of the institutions he looks to disrupt.

Those involved in the president’s reelection effort believe that his brash version of populism, combined with his mantra to “Drain the Swamp,” still resonates, despite his administration’s cozy ties with lobbyists and corporations and the Trump family’s apparent efforts to profit off the presidency.

“He’s still not viewed as a politician,” said Jason Miller, Trump’s 2016 senior communications adviser. “Voters don’t define him by the party label, they define him by his policies and his message of shaking up the status quo in Washington. That’s the biggest reason he was able to win blue states in 2016.”

Democrats, though, predict Trump won’t be able to get away with the outsider branding.

“How can you say: Forget about the last two years, he is an outsider, he is bashing down doors,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, a former senior Obama campaign official now at MoveOn.org. “People’s lives are harder because of what he has done as president. Voters are paying their attention and are not going to buy it.”

Republicans working with the Trump campaign but not authorized to speak publicly about internal conversations said campaign advisers believe that Trump is still perceived as a businessman and point to his clashes with the Washington establishment — including Congress, the so-called Deep State and members of his own party — as proof that he is still an outsider rather than a creature of the Beltway. Helping further that image, Trump advisers believe, is that his main Democratic foils are all career politicians: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Vice President Joe Biden and, yes, Hillary Clinton.

“He promised that he’d go to Washington and shake things up, and he certainly has,” said Trump campaign manager Tim Murtaugh.

Still, it’s not as though Trump is running from Washington. If anything, he’s wrapping himself in the trappings and authorities of his office. Last week, Trump granted behind-the-scenes access to his limousine, Marine One helicopter and Air Force One for an hourlong ABC News special meant to highlight the singular advantage he has over his rivals — that he already has the job they want.

And Trump is eager to use the power of the office to further his case for reelection. Last month in Louisiana, he promised voters a new bridge if he wins, and in the pivotal Florida Panhandle, he pledged new disaster relief money would flow in a second Trump term.

Trump advisers also point to his popularity among white working-class voters, who consider themselves “forgotten Americans” left behind and mocked by elite insiders. For those voters, many of whom in 2016 cast their first ballots in decades, Trump remains the embodiment of their outsider grievances, their anger stoked by his clashes with political foes and the rest of government (even when his party controls it).

Advisers believe that, in an age of extreme polarization, many Trump backers view their support for the president as part of their identity, one not easily shaken. They point to his seemingly unmovable support with his base supporters as evidence that, despite more than two years in office, he is still viewed the same way he was as a candidate: the bomb-throwing political rebel.

Americans acknowledge Trump is a change agent, but they are divided in their views of that change. Early this year, a CNN poll found about three-quarters of Americans saying Trump has created significant changes in the country, and they split about evenly between calling it change for the better and change for the worse. More recently, a March poll from CNN showed 42% of Americans think Trump can bring the kind of change the country needs.

___

Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed to this report.

___

Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Miller at http://twitter.com/@zekejmiller

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday refused to credit President Trump for reaching a deal to get Mexico to stop illegal immigration.

Schumer called the accord “nothing more than warmed-up leftovers,” and said Trump had simply backed down on a threat to impose new tariffs on Mexican imports because that is how he normally operates.

“The president stakes out a maximalist position but never clearly defines his objectives,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

“That way, after he backs himself into a corner, he can use a deal of any kind, even if it’s merely a fig leaf, to justify retreating from whatever misguided policy he’s threatened,” Schumer continued. “Then he declares victory, having done little or nothing to solve the problem.”

Schumer cited news reports claiming Mexico denies having signed a deal with Trump to rein in illegal immigration through Mexico from Central America.

“It’s amazing how this president will just make stuff up,” Schumer said. “He just makes it up and then it’s refuted.”

Trump said the deal with Mexico “will be revealed in the not too distant future.”

Trump criticized a New York Times story reporting there is no signed deal to make any new changes to Mexico’s policy for dealing with the migrants, who are approaching the U.S. border at numbers topping 100,000 per month.

Mexico has agreed to do more to stop the flow of migrants by following a previously negotiated deal with the United States. But any change to asylum laws that the United States is seeking would have to be approved by the Mexican Senate, according to the Times story.

“The agreement that President Trump reached with Mexico contains policies negotiated months ago,” Schumer said. “Nothing more than warmed-up leftovers.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stepped up his claim Trump will not follow through with his threat to impose tariffs on Mexican imports next week.

The president is simply looking for an off-ramp, Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday.

“There are many examples of the president taking a maximalist position before eventually backing off and announcing some different solution,” Schumer said in a Senate floor speech. “But the president needs a way out of his bluster. That may well be true with the tariff issue.”

Schumer first questioned Trump’s commitment to the tariffs on Tuesday. Trump responded on Twitter:

“Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep. He would rather have our Country fail with drugs & Immigration than give Republicans a win. But he gave Mexico bad advice, no bluff!”

The president is threatening tariffs in an effort to get Mexico to block hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants from flowing into the country and making it to the U.S. southern border.

Lawmakers are hoping high-level talks between a Mexican delegation and Trump administration officials will yield some kind of deal that satisfies Trump enough for him to call off the threat. Trump hasn’t backed off the threat yet.

“So publicly, the president has continued to talk tough on tariffs with Mexico,” Schumer said. “He responded to my statement on the floor with a tweet last night. But ultimately, I continue to believe that he’ll ultimately back off. That’s been his m.o [modus operani].”

Schumer said Trump could help solve the immigration surge at the border by agreeing to a bill sponsored by Democrats that would allow Central American migrants to apply for asylum in their home countries. The measure would also provide significant funding for the countries to combat gang and drug violence that the migrants say they are fleeing.

Trump Tweeted “I kept hearing that there would be “massive” rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite.” What Do You Think?

Trump calls ‘Resistance’ protests in Britain a ‘flop,’ believes he’s dominate polls if meda were fair
President Trump, in a series of tweets early Wednesday, called out the “corrupt media” for reporting on the paltry protester turnout during his trip to the U.K.and said if there was actually “fair” news See More accounts about his success in office, he would be dominating in polls. “I kept hearing that there would be “massive” rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite. The big crowds, which the Corrupt Media hates to show, were those that gathered in support of the USA and me,” he posted. Thousands of Londoners lined the streets Tuesday to protest his visit with the queen, including those carrying a giant baby blimp Trump.

Earlier, Trump sat down with Piers Morgan for ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” and clarified controversial comments last week about Meghan Markle in the Sun British tabloid. Trump again said he wasn’t calling Markle nasty, but rather was just surprised to hear her critical comments about him.

Trump to Schumer: Mexico tariff threat is ‘no bluff’
With Republicans threatening to block his move to impose tariffs on Mexican imports over the migration crisis at the southern border, President Trump blasted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. , for suggesting he would ultimately back down from his plan. “Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep. He would rather have our Country fail with drugs & Immigration than give Republicans a win. But he gave Mexico bad advice, no bluff!” Trump tweeted. Trump has vowed to impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports next week unless the country does more to stem illegal migration. Lawmakers and business allies have worried publicly that the tariffs would derail the long-promised United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that Trump had promised to replace. All sides, including officials from Mexico meeting with Trump negotiators in Washington this week, have remained hopeful that high-level talks would ease the president away from his threat.

Dems and Barr ready negotiate after ‘overbroad’ subpoena requests
Hours after the Department of Justice (DOJ) slammed House Democrats for planning a contempt vote against Attorney General William Barr — and charged that Democrats had privately admitted their subpoena requests were “overbroad” –House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced late Tuesday that he is open to negotiating with the DOJ “without conditions.” The turn of events reopened the possibility that Barr’s contempt vote may be postponed or canceled, if both sides return to the negotiating table. Nadler, however, pointedly refused to cancel the planned contempt vote prior to beginning any new negotiations, as the DOJ had demanded.

‘Coward of Broward’ paying for alleged shooter’s sins?
Lawyers for a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High resource officer have vowed to fight the charges he faces for failure to enter the school during the 2018 mass shooting. Joseph DiRuzzo III, lawyer for Scot Peterson, said in a statement: “We will vigorously defend against these spurious charges that lack basis in fact and law. Specifically, Mr. Peterson cannot reasonably be prosecuted because he was not a ‘caregiver’, which is defined as ‘a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.’” Peterson has been charged with seven counts ofneglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one of perjury after a 15-month investigation, according to a news release from Florida authorities. The charges carry a combined potential prison sentence of nearly 100 years for the officer blasted by many critics as the “Coward of Broward.”

Rumors of Jussie Smollett’s return to ‘Empire’ squashed 
Following a Variety magazine report that claimed Jussie Smollett might be returning to “Empire” for its sixth and final season, the show’s co-creator and executive producer — Lee Daniels — immediately shut down any speculation. “This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire. -LD,” Daniels tweeted, instantly dispelling any rumors. Smollett’s “character, Jamal Lyon,was written out of the final episodes of Season 5 of “Empire.” In May, Fox announced that its hit drama would end after Season 6 and that there were still no plans to bring back Smollett’s character.

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Source

President Trump fired back at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after the New York Democrat said Trump is bluffing and will not impose tariffs on goods from Mexico.

“Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep,” Trump tweeted, adding he was not bluffing on the threat.

Schumer said in a speech on the House floor on Tuesday, “Frankly, I don’t believe that President Trump will actually go through with the tariffs. President Trump has a habit of talking tough and then retreating, because his policies often can’t be implemented or don’t make sense … so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if President Trump doesn’t follow through on these tariffs, either.”

Trump announced in a tweet if Mexico is unable to stop a majority of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs from entering the U.S., then a 5% tariff will be imposed on all goods from Mexico.

In a statement released by the White House, Trump said he will impose the tariffs by using his powers in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Companies who relocate to the United States will not have to pay the tariffs.

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A defiant Roy Moore brushed aside Donald Trump’s warning not to run for Senate again, telling POLITICO on Wednesday that Alabama voters are capable of deciding for themselves whether he’s fit for office.

“The president doesn’t control who votes for the United States Senate in Alabama,” Moore said in a phone interview. “People in Alabama are smarter than that. They elect the senator from Alabama, not from Washington, D.C.”

The scandal-plagued former judge said he is “seriously considering” running for Senate again and plans to decide in a “few weeks.”

Moore’s recalcitrance comes as Republicans, including Trump, are warning him to stay out of the race against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. Republicans view the Alabama contest as a linchpin of their Senate majority — ousting Jones in 2020 would give the GOP a larger cushion with the party mostly on defense on the Senate map.

Jones narrowly defeated Moore in a special election in 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct by Moore with young girls decades ago. Those allegations emerged after Moore won the GOP nomination by defeating the Trump-endorsed candidate, then-interim Sen. Luther Strange.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he has “NOTHING” against Moore, despite the sexual misconduct allegations against the former judge. But, he wrote, Moore “cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating.” That came after Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also tweeted at Moore to steer clear of the race.

Top allies to Senate Republican leadership have made clear they view Moore as the best chance Democrats have to maintain the seat.

“We believe most Alabama Republicans realize that nominating Roy Moore would be gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer,” said Steven Law, president of Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Moore is convinced he could capture his party’s nomination in the face of the president’s opposition again. He said some Republicans are fearful that he still has support in the state.

“They know I’ll win,” he said. “That’s why they’re upset.”

He also continues to deny the multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior against him that were reported on during the 2017 race. “It was fake news then, [and] it’s fake news now,” Moore said.

Republicans have believed for weeks that Moore was likely to run for Senate again. They also acknowledge there’s little they can do to stop him, and that he has a hard-core base of supporters in the state that likely gives him both a high floor and low ceiling of support. Alabama election laws require winning a majority of the vote to secure a party nomination, so Moore could have an opening to make a runoff in a crowded primary field.

Opposition to his potential candidacy has been fairly unified throughout the party. Sen. Todd Young of Indiana, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman, had spoken with Trump in recent weeks and raised concerns about Moore, according to two people familiar with the discussion.

Trump’s tweet Wednesday was widely praised by Republicans, who believe the president is uniquely able to chip away at Moore’s support given his popularity among the GOP base in deep-red Alabama.

Read More Here.

Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Source: The Washington Pundit

A House Republican blocked the passage of a $19.1 billion disaster relief package that lawmakers hoped to send to President Trump’s desk after months of partisan fighting had stalled the money.

Final passage will now have to wait until the week of June 3, when House lawmakers return from a recess.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, opposed passing the measure by unanimous consent, delaying consideration until the House returns.

Democrats hoped to approve the spending measure by unanimous consent, which does not require a roll-call vote. Republicans are in the minority, so Democrats will be able to pass the measure with a roll-call vote when lawmakers return.

The measures stalled despite a bipartisan accord struck between leaders in the House and Senate, and after Trump agreed to lift some demands that had been holding up the bill. Other lawmakers also agreed to drop some of their funding requests that were stalling talks.

[Related: Senate approves $19.B disaster aid package]

Roy cited the high price tag for the measure, arguing it deserved floor debate. He also pointed to the lack of funding needed to deal with a humanitarian crisis on the border that the president had been seeking.

The House could attempt to pass the measure once again in the next pro forma session on Thursday, but it would again invite a possible GOP objection.

Democrats denounced the move.

“House Republicans’ last-minute sabotage of an overwhelmingly bipartisan disaster relief bill is an act of staggering political cynicism,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “Countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey offered similar sentiments.

“After President Trump and Senate Republicans delayed disaster relief for more than four months, it is deeply disappointing that House Republicans are now making disaster victims wait even longer to get the help they need,” Lowey, D-N.Y., said.

[Also read: What’s Trump covering up? Democrats seek ‘the impeachable truth’]

“We must pass this bicameral, bipartisan bill, and we will keep working to get it through the House and onto the president’s desk.”

Trump agreed to sign the bill without $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help deal with the recent surge in illegal immigration along the southern border. Removing the border funding eased the agreement. Democrats were opposed to its inclusion, and Trump agreed to leave it out after talks with Republicans Thursday. Senate Republican leaders said Thursday they’ll attempt to move the border security funding separately.

The Senate passed the measure yesterday with overwhelming bipartisan support, but with criticism from GOP leaders.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticized Democrats for blocking the money Trump was seeking, arguing the funds are needed for humanitarian aid in response to thousands of migrant families crossing into the United States from Mexico.

“This wasn’t money for the wall, or even for law enforcement. It was money so that the federal government could continue to house, feed, and care for the men, women, and children showing up on our southern border,” McConnell said. “Money for agencies that are currently running on fumes.”

The measure also includes millions of dollars more for Puerto Rico despite Trump’s argument that the island has already received enough disaster aid.

[Read: Trump says he has ‘taken better care of Puerto Rico than any man ever’]

Democrats blamed Trump and the GOP for the delay in passing the package and called the humanitarian funding “extraneous.”

“It’s good that Republicans finally came to their senses and realized that Puerto Rico and other disaster-impacted areas deserve to be treated fairly and that extraneous provisions shouldn’t be added to the disaster relief package,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.

It would provide more than $3 billion for farm crop damage due to storms and nearly $1 billion for the Marine Corps and Air Force to repair bases and restore equipment damaged by recent hurricanes.

The measure would also provide $600 million to the Economic Development Administration to provide grants to areas damaged by storms in 2018 and 2019.

[Related: Bipartisan pair introduces Puerto Rico statehood bill in Congress]

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Grab your popcorn 😁! Trump gives Barr green light to declassify 2016 campaign surveillance documents; I’m Excited Are You?!

Trump gives Barr green light to declassify 2016 campaign surveillance documents; Travel ban over abortion law

Friday, May 24, 2019

Trump gives Barr the green light to unseal documents on the 2016 surveillance of the Trump campaign
President Trump on Thursday night issued a memo giving Attorney General William Barr the See More authority to declassify any documents related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016. Trump also ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr. U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, blasted the move as an attempt to “weaponize law enforcement and classified information.” Trump has long claimed his campaign was the victim of “spying,” though the intelligence community has insisted it acted lawfully in following leads in the Russia investigation.

Last month, Barr ran into a buzz saw of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and media figures for testifying that “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign. But despite the backlash, the attorney general appeared to be referring to intelligence collection that already has been widely reported and confirmed.

Alleged Trump ‘cover-up’: A second generation of the ‘Russia witch hunt’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim of a presidential “cover-up” is the second generation of the Russia collusion “witch hunt,”according to a White House spokesman. Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley made the claim Thursday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” describing the continuing Democrat push for further investigations as “the Russia collusion hoax witch hunt 2.0.” Gidley’s comments came asTrump and Pelosi and other Democrats continued to snipe at each other over Wednesday’s scuttled meeting on infrastructure. White House officials insist Trump was calm when he cut short the meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Pelosi and Schumer insist Trump was agitated and threw the equivalent of a presidential temper tantrum when he abruptly ended the session. The president has demanded Democrats end their “phony investigations” before he negotiates with them on issues like infrastructure. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo, TD Bank Thursday turned over Trump’s financial records to Democrats in the House Financial Services Committee led by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Theresa May says she’ll quit as Conservative leader June 7

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Friday that she will resign — ending her months-long struggle to keep her job despite seething anger from her own Conservative Party over her handling of Brexit. “I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high. But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort,” she said outside 10 Downing Street.

LA lawmakers approve Alabama travel ban over new abortion law
Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors voted this week to enact a one-year ban on official travel to Alabama over that state’s controversial abortion law, which all but outlaws the procedure. Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who co-authored the motion with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, called the law an “attack not only confined to the residents of those states but an act of aggression upon all of us.” The motion prohibits officials conducting business on behalf of the county from traveling to Alabama except for emergency response, training or assistance or “legally required matters where the failure to authorize such travel would seriously harm the County’s interests,” Solis said in a statement.

Pete Hegseth op-ed: Let’s stop second-guessing our war heroes
In a feature on FoxNews.com, “Fox & Friends” weekend co-host and Iraq war veteran Pete Hegsethexplains why he wants critics to stop questioning the tactics U.S. troops employ on the battlefield. He writes the following: “We send men to fight on our behalf, and too often second-guess the manner in which they fight. Count me out on the Monday-morning quarterbacking — I’m with the American warfighter, all the way. … I’m not talking about massacres or sheer recklessness. None of us ever contemplated the killing of women and children for sport. We didn’t shoot innocent civilians for fun. There may be a few deranged combat troops, and they will get their due. Yet, too often, when warfighters come home they are second-guessed. Prosecuted by lawyers who never left their air-conditioned offices or politicians with ulterior motives.”

CLICK HERE to read Hegseth’s commentary and tune in to “Fox & Friends” today, between 6 and 9 am ET, where he will further explain his point of view.

$44M #MeToo settlement for Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein, the former movie mogul accused of sex crimes by multiple women, hasreached a tentative $44 million settlement to resolve lawsuits filed against him by his accusers, creditors and board members of his former film studio, according to multiple reports Thursday night. Under the proposed settlement, which has not been finalized, $30 million would be paid to the plaintiffs — including former employees of Weinstein Co. — and $14 million would go to pay legal fees, with the funds coming from insurance policies, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Trump rolls out second aid package for farmers worth $16B amid US-China trade war.
House passes major retirement reform bill: What it means for your 401(k), IRA.
McDonald’s not ready to jump on the plant-based meat bandwagon yet.

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Counselor Kellyanne Conway, White House communications director Mercedes Schlapp, deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the White House on Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—President Trump smiled as he entered the Roosevelt Room in the White House, armed with $16 billion in good news for farmers struggling amid his continuing trade conflict with China. By the time he left, Mr. Trump had effectively carpet bombed what little remained of his relationship with congressional Democrats by mocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s intelligence, ridiculing her speaking style and calling the first woman to lead the U.S. House “a mess.”

Thursday brought another episode of the Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi show, culminating in a roster of senior presidential advisers lining up along the wall of the historic room attesting to how calmly Mr. Trump had handled Wednesday’s installment.

With more than a dozen American farmers looking on, including an Idahoan wearing a red “Make Potatoes Great Again” hat, Mr. Trump was asked by reporters about comments from Mrs. Pelosi earlier in the day that the president’s family should stage an intervention after his behavior during a meeting on Wednesday. At that gathering, Mr. Trump told Democrats he wouldn’t work with them while investigations of him continued and then abruptly stormed out of the room before anyone else could speak.

Mr. Trump responded to the question by calling upon five White House aides—one after the other—to stand in front of TV cameras and vouch for the prudence and discipline he said he displayed at a meeting a day earlier with Democrats.

“No temper tantrum,” said Kellyanne Conway, his counselor. Hogan Gidley, a deputy press secretary, wasn’t even in the room for the meeting, but still attested to the president’s composure. Larry Kudlow, Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser who is hobbled with a bad hip, leaned on a cane as he limped to the front of the room to tell his boss, in front of television cameras, “You were very calm.”

President Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling her ‘crazy’ after she suggested the president’s family stage an intervention, and asked his staff to vouch for his calm and collected behavior as a dozen farmers looked on. Photo: EPA

“I’m an extremely stable genius,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

After 28 months in office, Mr. Trump has amassed a highlight reel of astonishing, must-see moments on live television, and his impromptu news conference on Thursday provided another. The latest performance demonstrated his concern about Mrs. Pelosi’s comments and his desire to counter. Often that happens on Twitter, but he has twice in two days delivered his ripostes in televised news conferences from the White House.

The round of testimonials from his staff most closely recalled the unusual cabinet meeting in June 2017, when agency heads and senior staff—men and women Mr. Trump had nominated or hired—showered him with adulation as the TV cameras rolled. “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people,” Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff at the time, told him.

The cabinet meeting two years ago came as the administration’s travel ban had been blocked again by an appeals court and as then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed to testify in public about his connections to an investigation of Russian meddlings in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump unleashed his latest performance amid escalating tensions between he and Mrs. Pelosi.

Before traveling to the White House to meet with Mr. Trump Wednesday, Mrs. Pelosi accused the Republican president of engaging in a “coverup” as a growing faction of Democrats called for Mr. Trump’s impeachment. She described Mr. Trump as having a “temper tantrum” at their meeting in the White House and on Thursday urged his staff and his family to “have an intervention for the good of the country.

“I pray for the president of the United States,” she said, adding that “this is not behavior that rises to the dignity of the office of president of the United States.”

Mr. Trump’s frustration was palpable in the White House on Thursday. He said that he made a point of telling his staff he would be calm with Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer so that they couldn’t accuse him of “ranting and raving.” Mr. Trump had wanted to avoid a repeat of his meeting with leaders in January over a government shutdown, when, frustrated after the lack of progress, he ended it after 20 minutes by putting his hands in the air—two open palms on either side of his face—and said, “Bye-bye,” and left the room.

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Democrats left that meeting saying Mr. Trump had pounded the desk in anger, but he denied acting violently. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he left his meeting on Wednesday and “went directly to the press conference” to show reporters he was calm and stave off accusations that he was fuming.

“I didn’t want them to say I did it—they said it anyway,” Mr. Trump said, closing his eyes for effect.

Mr. Trump’s complained about “the narrative” from Democrats about him. And accused them of lying to score political points. “They don’t feel they can win the election,” he said about his re-election campaign in 2020. “So they’re trying to do the thousand stabs.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who momentarily left the news conference, returned as staff was praising the president. She added some levity when Mr. Trump asked if he was “screaming and ranting and raving” at the meeting, or if he was calm.

“I’ve seen both,” she said. “This was definitely not angry or ranting. Very calm and straightforward.”

The response drew laughs from much of the room, but not Mr. Trump, who only flashed a brief but tight smile.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who was in the room for the announcement about aid to farmers, said it was “frustrating” that the positive news for farmers likely would be overshadowed by Mr. Trump’s latest back-and-forth with Mrs. Pelosi.

“Obviously he is a very passionate leader,” Mr. Perdue said.

Write to Michael C. Bender at Mike.Bender@wsj.com

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By Peter Alexander, Alex Moe and Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told her Democratic colleagues Thursday that President Donald Trump “wants to be impeached” so that he can be vindicated by the Senate.

Pelosi made the comments at a closed-door morning meeting, two Democratic aides told NBC News, who also said that Pelosi called Trump’s actions “villainous.”

The aide said that Pelosi was implying that she will stick to her current plan to keep investigating the president and his administration without jumping to impeachment, though she didn’t explicitly address strategy in her remarks.

“Let me be very clear: the president’s behavior, as far as his obstruction of justice, the things that he is doing, it’s in plain sight, it cannot be denied — ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference Thursday following the closed-door meeting.

May 23, 201901:23

But she continued to stress a focus on process. “I do think that impeachment is a very divisive place to go in our country,” she said. “Get the facts to the American people in our investigation … it may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment, but we’re not at that place.”

Thirty-two members of the House Democratic caucus have so far voiced support for opening an impeachment inquiry against Trump, many of whom came out in support of such a strategy just this week.

The House speaker’s message comes a day after she and Trump tangled over her claim that he had engaged in a “cover-up,” as vocal support for impeachment surged in the Democratic caucus.

“We do believe that it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States. And we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,” Pelosi told reporters in the morning, following a closed-door caucus meeting with Democratic lawmakers focused on impeachment.

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The president later cut short a previously scheduled White House visit with Democratic leaders including Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that had been planned to discuss infrastructure policy.

Pelosi said Thursday that the president pulled a “stunt” at the White House on Wednesday and “stormed out” of the room, throwing “another temper tantrum again.”

“I pray for the president of the United States,” she told reporters. “I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.”

May 23, 201902:02

Asked what she meant when she referenced a presidential “intervention,” Pelosi appeared to joke about the 25th Amendment, which allows for a process that could lead to the removal of the president through the vice president and Cabinet.

“Statutory intervention? That would be good. Article 25. That’s a good idea. I’ll take it up with my caucus, not that they haven’t been thinking about it.”

Following his brief White House meeting with Democratic leaders, Trump held an impromptu Rose Garden event blasting her statement, and the mounting congressional probes into his conduct and finances.

“I don’t do cover-ups,” he said, adding that legislative cooperation would be on hold until Hill investigations ended.

Pelosi said Thursday that the president was clearly unsettled by the string of legal setbacks, an apparent reference to court decisions this week that would require the release of previously withheld financial documents.

“What really got to him was these court cases and the fact that a House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment, and that’s where he wants us to be,” she said. “When he saw that that was not happening that — again with the cover-up, which he understands is true — just really struck a chord.”


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