Gayle King challenged Nancy Pelosi for calling President Trump’s supporters “henchmen,” suggesting that the “egregious” language was hypocritical.
On Friday, the speaker of the House appeared as a guest on CBS This Morning with King to discuss Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18 from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, and President Trump’s possible replacements (on Saturday, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat).
Calling the nomination of any replacement “completely inappropriate” in light of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s objection to then-President Barack Obama replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, the women pivoted to the Nov. 3 election.
When King asked Pelosi about her August comments that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden shouldn’t debate Trump because he would “belittle what the debates are supposed to be about” (the first debate takes place Tuesday in Ohio), Pelosi’s answer remained the same.
“I just think that the President has no fidelity to fact or truth, and actually in his comments the last few days, no fidelity to the Constitution of the United States,” she told King. “He and his henchmen are a danger with their comments, are a danger to our democracy. I didn’t want to give him, you know, why bother — you know, he doesn’t tell the truth. He isn’t committed to our Constitution, but Joe Biden is right —”
King interjected, “But Speaker Pelosi, that’s what people say is the problem. Your language to some is just as egregious as what they’re saying by calling the president’s people ‘henchmen.’ Some could say that’s just as insulting as what he’s saying about you.”
“Well, I don’t care what he says about me,” said Pelosi. “Every knock from him is a boost for me. If he wants to help me raise money, he can keep knocking me. But I’m speaking truth.”
In a Sept. 20 interview, Pelosi used the term “henchmen” after Trump repeatedly suggested that he might not accept the results of the election, due to the notion of voter fraud associated with mail-in ballots, despite the FBI seeing no evidence of such efforts. (This week White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “The president will accept the results of a free and fair election.”)
The Friday interview made King trend on Twitter — one camp said that “henchmen” was a tame descriptor given the weighty issues at stake in November, another that King was doing her job as an interviewer. And some felt the exchange was harmless on both sides.
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