“I’ve spoken to his representatives and he says that they speak for him. And I take that to be true about the secretary of the Treasury and we have worked together,” Pelosi said on Monday morning in an interview, noting she made deals with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on previous COVID-19 aid measures and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal.
Pelosi said in the interview that she has not spoken to Trump about the pandemic or wildfires.
“Quite frankly, my experience with the president has been that it hasn’t been on the level. You know, he’ll say something and then it doesn’t really happen. So in the interest of time, we’ll work with who he sends over,” Pelosi said.
Last week, President Donald Trump told reporters that he has reasons for not wanting to meet directly with Pelosi or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on rendering further CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus aid.
“I know Pelosi, I know Schumer very well. They don’t want to make a deal because they think it’s good for politics if they don’t make a deal,” Trump said. “I’m taking the high road by not seeing them. That’s the high road.”
Trump then argued that Democrats are against passing a CCP virus relief bill because it might benefit the president during his reelection bid.
During COVID-19 negotiations in recent weeks, Pelosi, Schumer, Mnuchin, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have met but their talks reached an impasse in August.
The last time Pelosi and Trump were in the same room was in February at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, coming two days after Trump delivered his State of the Union address. At the end of the speech, which came in the midst of the highly polarized impeachment trial, Pelosi ripped up a copy of the document.
Meanwhile, Mnuchin told an interviewer earlier on Monday that there may still be a relief deal before the November election.
“I will continue to work on this. I’ve told the speaker I’m available anytime to negotiate, no conditions,” he said. He added that he looks forward to a bipartisan proposal from lawmakers expected as soon as Monday.
It’s not clear when the White House and top congressional Democrats are slated to meet again.