Nancy Pelosi tells Stephen Colbert why impeaching Trump is sad. Colbert explains why people are cheering.

Stephen Colbert interviews Nancy Pelosi
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/The Late Show)

Nancy Pelosi is the first woman elected House speaker, and "her latest project is impeaching the president of the United States," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, introducing his main guest. Pelosi was a little less glib. "This is a sad thing for our country," she said, adding later: "We don't want to impeach a president, we don't want the reality that a president has done something that is in violation of the Constitution."

It is a solemn thing, but "the reason why people do get happy, why you hear the applause sometimes," Colbert said, pointing to his audiences, "is because people want to know that actions have consequences, and there have been so few consequences for this president." Before news broke of President Trump's infamous call with Ukraine's president, "I had not been, shall we say, enthusiastic" about impeachment, but "this was something that you could not ignore," Pelosi said. While Trump probably violated his oath of office and the Constitution, she added, she will reserve judgment until he has the chance to defend himself to the House.

"It seems like it's an investigation truly in reverse," Colbert said, "in that we found the guy with the bloody knife in his hand and the dead body, now the investigation is to find if enough people care."

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Pelosi said she doesn't get why no Republicans backed Thursday's vote on the procedures for impeachment, since "it gave them more rights than we ever received in any of the other impeachment proceedings." She also chided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for calling himself "the Grim Reaper, that everything we send over there will die in the Senate. And then in the next breath he says 'All they do is impeach.' Well, we've sent him scores of bills," many of them really popular among the public.

Assuming the House impeaches Trump, "are you prepared for how rough it's going to get?" Colbert asked Pelosi. "Because you know the guy's not going to go easy." Pelosi recounted some advice she gives, that sometimes in politics you have to "throw a punch — for the children." Watch below. Peter Weber

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