House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Donald Trump a “deranged, unhinged, dangerous” president and said he must be removed swiftly from office in an interview on “60 Minutes” Sunday night.
The interview, conducted by CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl, was filmed Friday in the Capitol just two days after Trump’s supporters violently invaded the building as Congress prepared to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Five people died in the riot, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
“There is strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time,” Pelosi said. “This president is guilty of inciting insurrection. He has to pay a price for that.”
Pelosi said Sunday the House will proceed with legislation to impeach Trump unless the vice president and Cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment to force him out.
Pelosi walked Stahl through the damaged Capitol building, including her own office suite where rioters broke down doors and smashed furniture and mirrors while staffers hid in a conference room. She said that the invaders posed a threat that went beyond destruction of property.
“The evidence is that it was a well-planned, organized group with leadership and guidance and direction,” Pelosi said. “And the direction was to go get people. They were vocally saying, ‘Where’s the Speaker?’ ”
Pelosi said in the interview that while she plans on bringing articles of impeachment to the House floor this week, she would rather see Vice President Mike Pence and cabinet members remove Trump immediately.
“I remember when Republicans in the Senate went to see Richard Nixon and said ‘it’s over.’ That’s what has to happen now.”
US Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, said in a separate segment on the program that Trump was directly to blame for the assault on the Capitol and said some of his Senate colleagues share the blame. He specifically called out Republicans Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri for leading the charge in the Senate to contest the electoral count on Wednesday.
“Words have consequences, and the higher up you are on the hierarchy, the words have more consequences,” said King, who was first elected to the Senate in 2013. He said he considers Cruz a friend.
“I’m disappointed because [Cruz] knows better,” he said. “He’s a really smart guy ... They knew damn well that what they were doing was wrong.
“It was a profoundly unpatriotic act in my mind.”
“60 Minutes” also featured an interview with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during which Raffensperger rebutted Trump’s false claims that there was election fraud in his state. Trump called Raffensperger last week and pressured him to “find” the votes needed for Trump to win the state, according to a recording obtained by the Washington Post.
“I guess maybe they were just trying to intimidate me and cajole me into something,” Raffensperger said to CBS journalist Scott Pelley. “It wasn’t gonna happen.”
During the call, Trump made a veiled threat to Raffensperger, suggesting that failing to alter the election results could be “very costly.”
“I heard the threat. I don’t know what it meant, exactly, but it wasn’t gonna move me off center,” Raffensperger said.