President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE on Thursday railed against “partisan investigations” and “witch hunts” amid the coronavirus pandemic after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNJ governor calls for assessment of coronavirus response after crisis abates Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) established a special House committee to examine the federal response to the pandemic.
“I want to remind everyone here in our nation’s capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics,” Trump said, reading from prepared remarks. “Endless partisan investigations have already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years.”
“It’s witch hunt, after witch hunt, after witch hunt. It’s not any time for witch hunts, it’s time to get this enemy defeated,” he continued. “Conducting these partisan investigations in the middle of a pandemic is a really big waste of vital resources, time, attention, and we want to fight for American lives, not waste time and build up my poll numbers. Because that’s all their doing because everyone knows it’s ridiculous.”
Trump did not explicitly mention Pelosi or a particular investigation, but the remarks appeared to be a warning shot in response to the Speaker creating a special committee “to examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus and ensure the taxpayer’s dollars are being wisely and efficiently spent.”
Pelosi tapped Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the Democratic whip, to lead the bipartisan panel.
Pelosi’s announcement came a day after Democratic lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday introduced legislation that would create an independent commission tasked with producing a “full and complete accounting of the nation’s preparedness and response” to the coronavirus.
Lawmakers have passed three relief packages to address fallout from the virus, with President Trump signing a $2 trillion bill last week to send checks to many Americans, set up a $500 billion corporate liquidity fund and provide $377 billion in aid to small businesses, among other provisions.
Trump’s comments and tone in reading Thursday’s remarks echoed his past rhetoric complaining about former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE‘s investigation and the House impeachment proceedings, which he frequently derided as partisan witch hunts and hoaxes.
Moments after he stepped away from the podium, the White House sent a scathing letter from Trump to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar Trump lashes out at Schumer over call for supply czar MORE (N.Y.) in which the president chastises the top Senate Democrat for his criticism of the federal response to the coronavirus.
“If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy,’” Trump wrote. “No wonder [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Trump blasts Schumer over ‘incorrect sound bites’ on coronavirus Trump warns against ‘partisan investigations’ after Pelosi establishes select committee on virus response MORE] and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win.”