Talking Point Alert: Pelosi Gets Under Trump's Skin

May 23, 2019

Reporters and anchors were eager to tout Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D., Calif.) ability to get under President Donald Trump's "skin" following their brief, testy White House meeting on Wednesday.

Trump abruptly left an infrastructure meeting with Pelosi and other Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he wouldn't do business with them while being investigated. In response to Pelosi's accusation that his White House was orchestrating a "cover-up" by not complying with various subpoenas, Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden, "I don't do cover-ups."

The press loved the acidic exchanges—Pelosi later said she would pray for Trump—and the "skin" talking point took hold quickly. On CNN and MSNBC alone, the Washington Free Beacon counted at least 19 examples of a variation of the phrase being used in just 24 hours.

"Why does Nancy Pelosi get under the president's skin so much?" MSNBC's Hallie Jackson asked White House official Marc Short on Thursday.

"She gets under his skin," Jackson told a separate MSNBC panel. "I think it is clear that Nancy Pelosi gets under his skin," Axios reporter Alexei McCammond affirmed.

"Pelosi has an uncanny ability to get under Trump's skin," The Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift said on MSNBC.

"Nancy Pelosi clearly got under his skin," CNN's Wolf Blitzer said. "That's right, Wolf," replied reporter Abby Phillip.

"It's pretty clear she gets under skin," CNN's Sara Murray said.

"She has this unique quality of getting under the president's skin," CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson said.

"Pelosi, for some reason, gets under his skin," New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said on CNN.

"The charge of a presidential cover-up landed right underneath Donald Trump's skin," MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace said.

"It very clearly got under his skin," MSNBC analyst Matthew Miller said.

"Once again the world is learning just how easy it is to get under the skin of the most powerful man on earth," CNN's Anderson Cooper said to lead off Wednesday night's show.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes called Pelosi's approach "extremely effective at getting under his skin."

"Here's what's going on," CNN's Don Lemon said Wednesday night. "The Speaker's really getting under the President's skin."

Lemon previously called Pelosi "a boss" after a viral exchange between Trump and her in the Oval Office late last year.