February 26, 2020 / 5:02 PM / 3 months ago

False claim: Nancy Pelosi suffers huge meltdown at press conference

Update March 01, 2020

The article which was the subject of this fact check has now been updated to remove references to a “meltdown”. As such, Reuters Fact Check has removed the “false” rating that was earlier applied to this content.


“The People’s Voice” posted an article here on Facebook from Newspunch.com here that claimed Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi had displayed a “massive meltdown” during a press conference on January 30, 2020. The post stated that she had a “massive meltdown”, the headline described it as a “huge meltdown”. The article itself referred to a “massive meltdown” and claimed she “snapped” in her answer to a question at the press conference and went on an “insane rant.” ​

The article referred to Pelosi snapping in an answer about acquittal:

“A reporter asked Pelosi if Trump will be “chastened” knowing “Congress is watching him” or “emboldened” if the senate acquits him.

“Well he will NOT be acquitted. You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial and when you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation,” Pelosi snapped.”

In the video of the press conference www.c-span.org/video/?468742-1/speaker-pelosi-holds-news-conference-policy-agenda-impeachment-trial&start=890(available in its entirety on C-SPAN) she responds to a question that includes the quote referred to in the article regarding her “snapping”, visible at 14:58: ​

“Well, he will not be acquitted. You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial and you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation and that. I hope that the senators, if it comes to a tie or if there is a question of hearing testimony or receiving documents would leave it up to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Republican appointed in a republican majority court; I would think that they would have confidence in the Chief Justice of the United States. That’s really his title. And that’s interesting to me that they’re afraid of breaking a tie with the Chief Justice of the United States. Does the president know right from wrong? I don’t think so. That’s all I can say.” ​

Pelosi can be seen in video www.c-span.org/video/?468742-1/speaker-pelosi-holds-news-conference-policy-agenda-impeachment-trial&start=890 of the conference calmly answering the question mentioned in this claim without raising her voice for the about 40-seconds. “Insane rant” would imply at the very least that she got agitated. In a literal sense it would mean she was not well mentally and spoke for a long time. “Massive” or “huge” meltdown would suggest that she would appear to be very upset or shaken up. The video shows she does not lose her composure and answers in a steady and calm way. Overall, Pelosi can be seen answering questions calmly and smiling occasionally during the press conference shown in the video and mentioned in this claim. ​At no point, during the entire interview www.c-span.org/video/?468742-1/speaker-pelosi-holds-news-conference-policy-agenda-impeachment-trial&start=890 does Pelosi lose her composure.

The claim that Nancy Pelosi had a “huge” or “massive” breakdown or went on an insane rant is in this case false. Based on video of the conference, Nancy Pelosi did say “he will not be acquitted” in reference to President Trump, video of the conference shows her answer is far from a “huge” or “massive” meltdown. ​

False: Nancy Pelosi did not have a “massive” or “huge” meltdown at a press conference

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