President Trump got to work exacting revenge Friday on top Democratic lawmakers for demanding his attorney general's resignation over past meetings with Russia's ambassador -- after pictures emerged of the same lawmakers in similar meetings, exposing them to "hypocrisy" charges.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in particular, has egg on her face after she told Politico reporters that she had never met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“Not with this ambassador, no,” she said.
But Politico unearthed a 2010 photo from a meeting of congressional lawmakers with then-Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, at which both Pelosi and Kislyak were present.
Though a spokesman said she meant “she has never had a private one-on-one with him,” Republicans were quick to accuse her of misleading the public.
After earlier swiping at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Trump tweeted: "I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it." (Trump posted three versions of the same tweet, after earlier versions included a misspelling.)
I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
“Nancy Pelosi’s hypocrisy and utter disregard for the truth has gummed up the Democratic Party’s faux outrage machine. She owes an explanation for why she knowingly misled the American public,” Jesse Hunt, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.
Both Pelosi and Schumer had called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign after it was revealed he met twice with Kislyak in 2016, despite telling lawmakers at his confirmation hearing he had no “communications” with Russian officials. Sessions has said he didn’t mislead Congress as he was answering in the context of discussions related to the Trump campaign.
Trump also pounced on Schumer Friday after a picture made the rounds online showing the New York senator chowing down on a donut with President Vladimir Putin in 2003.
The image had circulated as part of the conservative pushback against Democratic criticism of Sessions – with outlets noting that a number of Democratic lawmakers also had met with the ambassador in the past.
Schumer quickly responded by saying that he would be happy to talk about his meeting with Putin, and threw the question back at Trump.