Nancy Pelosi cites principle of not talking about Donald Trump when overseas. We looked into it

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe after D-Day ceremonies. (Fred Tanneau, Pool via AP)
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe after D-Day ceremonies. (Fred Tanneau, Pool via AP)

A day before she went to France for D-Day memorial ceremonies, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly said that she wants to see President Donald Trump in prison.

But 24 hours later and 3,000 miles from Washington Pelosi demurred when asked about Trump and his threat of tariffs on Mexico.

"I don’t talk about the president while I’m out of the country," she said in Normandy, France, June 6. "That’s my principle."

The principle has been around a long time and the Trump campaign cried foul, so we wanted to take a look.

Pelosi does, literally, talk about Trump overseas, we found by reviewing her remarks. But she does keep some of her most blistering comments about the president at home.

Munich, Germany, February 16, 2019

At the Munich Security Conference, Pelosi took issue with the administration’s termination of the Iran nuclear deal. Vice President Mike Pence had just addressed the group.

Pelosi: "The Vice President is an articulate spokesman for his (Trump’s) point of view, which is, I think, on the subject of Iran, completely wrong."

European trip, April 14, 2019

Trump had shared a video that cast Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as dismissing the 9-11 attacks. Pelosi tweeted a critique of the video.

".@realDonaldTrump’s dangerous video must be taken down. I have spoken with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Rep. @Ilhan Omar, her family & her staff. They will continue to monitor & address the threats she faces."

Later on the same trip, Pelosi went a bit further, saying "what the president did was not right."

London, April 15, 2019

In a live on-stage interview at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Pelosi was asked about the Trump administration tariffs on China:

Pelosi: "I don’t ever criticize the president outside the country. But I will say this. This is just a difference of opinion... I thought one of the biggest opportunities was for the United States and the European Union to join together — the hugest market in the world, right, the two combined. And use that leverage in negotiations with the Chinese. So I wasn’t pleased when the president then put tariffs on the EU. It started to kind of weaken that strength that could’ve been there vis a vis China."

Dublin, Ireland, April 16, 2019

In an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour, Pelosi talked about the upcoming 2020 elections.

Pelosi: "Everything is at stake in this election, the Constitution of the United States with the president who's trying to usurp the power of the legislative branch of government, the environment in which we live, a Republican Party that is in denial about the assault on climate and the climate crisis, which is a health issue, a national security issue, an economic and jobs issue, and a moral issue to pass the planet on to the next generation in a responsible way."

Amanpour pressed Pelosi on Trump linking Democrats to anti-Semitism and the impact that might have.

Pelosi: "I think the president is bankrupt of any ideas. I don't want to talk about the president here because I'm overseas. But come see me in Washington, D.C., and I'll tell you what I think about that, the president. But, no, I — because the — we are not. And we have no taint of that in the Democratic Party. And just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn't mean that we take that bait."

Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said, "this is policy based; not a personal attack."

Pelosi back at home

It’s worthwhile to compare those remarks with how Pelosi has described or discussed Trump while in Washington.

Perhaps most notably, Pelosi accused Trump of being "engaged in a cover-up" over the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

"We do believe that it is important to follow the facts, we believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States, and we believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up, in a cover-up," Pelosi said on May 22, 2019.

Later, after Trump responded in a fiery Rose Garden press conference, Pelosi said, "I pray for the president of the United States, and I pray for the United States of America."

"I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country," Pelosi said.

"Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence," she said.