By Adam Shaw
Published March 12, 2019
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday said the fight in the Democratic Party over whether to push for the impeachment of President Trump shows that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is losing control of the party.
“Look, I think Nancy Pelosi is clearly already starting to lose control of her party, I think we’re seeing that on a lot of things that have taken place over the last couple of weeks,” Sanders said on Fox News' “Outnumbered Overtime.”
Pelosi told The Washington Post in an interview published Monday that she was opposed to impeaching the president unless there is “compelling” evidence.
"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," she said.
The speaker’s remarks are in opposition to growing calls from the far-left of the party, who have made impeachment one of their main issues. Notably, freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., vowed in January that she would work to “impeach the motherf---er.”
Pelosi said Trump was "unfit" to be president "ethically," "Intellectually," and "curiosity-wise." However, she added that her own relationship with Trump has been "respectful of the office that he holds."
Pelosi’s stance on impeachment was backed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who said “the distraction would be major.”
On Tuesday, Sanders said that she was “glad [Pelosi] sees that the rest of us see, that there’s no reason, no cause for impeachment.”
She went on to say that the White House doesn’t believe that there is public support for impeachment, considering the job Trump is doing in areas such as rebuilding the military and creating jobs.
“Nobody wants to see President Trump impeached, other than Democrats in Congress who are failing, who have no other message, and that’s because our country is doing better,” she said. “I know that this is hard for them to run against in 2020 and I think they've got a very, very hard uphill battle ahead of them.”
The Trump campaign also noted Pelosi’s comments and suggested impeachment should be a litmus test for Democrats in 2020.
"Every single Democrat running for president should be made to answer: do they agree with the Speaker who stands in opposition to baseless impeachment charges, or will they risk fracturing the country by bowing to the radical elements in their party who want to disenfranchise the American people and overturn the legitimate and lawful result of the last election?” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
Impeachment is one of a number of areas where Pelosi is facing challenges from first-year freshmen, namely New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Tlaib – who are pushing the party into unchartered territory on issues such as impeachment, criticism of Israel and the Green New Deal.
“All of our problems are caused by three people,” one senior House Democrat lamented to Fox News this week.
Ocasio-Cortez was asked Tuesday about Pelosi's remarks and whether she had a different opinion on impeachment. "I happen to, yes," she said.
Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain, Chad Pergram, Guerin Hays and Kristin Brown contributed to this report.