WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats walked out of a White House meeting on Syria on Wednesday, claiming President Donald Trump was demeaning to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"He was insulting, particularly to the speaker. He called her a ‘third-rate politician,'" said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "This was not a dialogue, it was sort of a diatribe."
Pelosi said Trump was “shaken up” by having lost most Republicans in a Wednesday vote condemning Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria,
“What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say," Pelosi said.
Hours later, in a series of tweets attacking her, Trump said it was Pelosi who had an "unhinged meltdown." In another tweet, Trump claimed Pelosi "needs help fast," adding, "Pray for her, she is a very sick person!"
Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown! pic.twitter.com/RDeUI7sfe7— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2019
Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her “upstairs,” or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019
Pelosi then took the photo in Trump's tweet – which showed her standing up and pointing her finger at Trump – and made it the background photo of her Twitter and Facebook pages.
The White House meeting came soon after the House overwhelmingly passed bipartisan resolution condemning Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, all but clearing the way for Turkey to invade territory held by the U.S.-allied Kurds.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham called Pelosi's decision to walk out "baffling, but not surprising."
“Speaker Pelosi had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues," Grisham said in a statement. "While Democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.”
Democrats said Pelosi left after Trump called her a third-rate politician, but not before Pelosi said she responded: "I wish you were a politician, Mr. President. Then you would know the art of the possible."
'The Kurds are being slaughtered': House votes to condemn President Trump’s troop pullout from Syria
Schumer said some lawmakers from both parties stayed behind, as he did initially, because he wanted to ask a question.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the meeting, which included top Pentagon officials, was “very productive” with “the Democrats who actually stayed in the meeting.”
“Those who would stay in the room are those who care the most for the process of solving this problem and making sure America is safe,” McCarthy said.
Democrats are also complaining that the administration has cancelled a briefing for lawmakers on Syria that had been scheduled for Thursday.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nancy Pelosi: Donald Trump had a 'meltdown' during meeting on Syria