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Transcript of Pelosi Interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with Mika Brzezinski

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the recent Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region, the Inflation Reduction Act and other news of the day.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Mika Brzezinski.  And the House Speaker joins us now.  We’ll get to the very important questions surrounding what’s happening in Taiwan in just a moment.  But first, good morning. 

We would like very much to get your reaction, Madam Speaker, to the search of former President Trump’s estate, Mar-a-Lago, down in Florida. 

Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning.

I have – all I know about that is what is in the public domain.  I was surprised that it flashed on my phone last evening.  So I don’t really have too much to say, except that, to have a visit like that, you need a warrant.  To have a warrant, you need justification.  And that says that no one is above the law – not even a President or a former President of the United States.  But that – all of this will, I’m sure, be made known to us over time.  But I have no knowledge of it.

I do know that there has been chatter – or more than chatter – about the presidential, President’s documents and how they must be preserved for history.  And we’ll see what the justification was for the raid.  I just don’t know.  I think everybody was surprised by it.

Joe Scarborough.  Yes, yes.

You know, Madam Speaker, it’s fascinating.  I went to Taiwan with a group of Members of Congress to see the inauguration of President Lee back in the 1990’s.  And of course, another House Speaker –

Mika Brzezinski.  Yes.

Joe Scarborough.  – went to Taiwan.  Nobody really said much about it at all.  Ambassadors go to Taiwan.  Americans go to Taiwan.

I would love to know what is the difference when I do it, when Gingrich does it, when ambassadors do it and then suddenly when you do it.  Suddenly, this is like a world crisis.  What’s the difference here?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, it might – I might even add – good morning, Joe.  I might even add that, just a short while ago, a number of Senators – a bipartisan group of Senators went, including the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Menendez.  Did anybody make a fuss? 

I don’t think that the President of China should control the schedules of Members of Congress or anyone else who wants to visit Taiwan. 

He’s trying to isolate Taiwan, you know.  They can’t join the WHO, where they could make a very valuable contribution in terms of global health or other organizations.  So he may try to keep them from attending meetings but he’s not going to keep Members of Congress from visiting Taiwan, who will not be accomplices to his isolation of Taiwan.

Joe Scarborough.  So what did we learn from China over the past several –

Speaker Pelosi.  I –  

Joe Scarborough.  – days?  Obviously, President Xi has taken the country in an even more autocratic direction over the past several years.

Speaker Pelosi.  Yes.

Joe Scarborough.  What have you learned by his overreaction to a Member of Congress’ visit to Taiwan?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, I think that he’s in a fragile place.  He’s – his problems with his economy.  He’s acting like a scared bully, and this is his – before the meeting that, where he will want to be re-elected.  But I – we didn’t go there to talk about China.  We went there to talk about Taiwan.  We went there in a bigger picture.  Taiwan eclipsed everything else that we did.  The President has initiated an Asia-Pacific policy.  He has instituted the Indo-Pacific economic framework.  We wanted to hear from the leaders of those countries, accepting their invitations to visit and, again, emphasizing parliament – interparliamentary interactions that are important in our relationship. 

We went with humility to learn what they’re thinking, so that they’re not thinking, ‘Here’s what we want to do and you follow us.’  No – let’s do this working together.  And we, again, just on some other issues, talked to them all and thanked them for their strong positions they took against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.  We thanked those on the ASEAN and southern Asian countries – South Asian countries of Singapore and Malaysia for the actions they took against Burma, for what Burma has done executing advocates for democracy in Burma.  So we had – our purpose, always, when we go on a trip is about security, economics and the economy, and governance.  And in terms of security, we had good chats, listening to them about how we work together for global security. 

In terms of the economy, I mentioned the President’s Indo-Pacific economic platform – framework and listening to how they thought we could work together.  They’re urging us to do another trade bill, so we’ll see how we can work together.  I’ll talk to our friends in labor and my colleagues about that.  And then, third, in terms of governance, really important to talk about what I said: whether it’s COVID, whether it’s climate change, whether it’s human rights as they have reacted to why this happened to it – in Burma.  

So it was a very productive trip, again emphasizing our inter – although we met with the heads of state and – or had discussions with them.  We met with every Speaker in all five countries and their members of Parliament.  So it’s very productive.  But in terms of Taiwan, we were not going to take Taiwan off our list because the President of Taiwan has invited us.  The President of China does not do our schedule.

Mika Brzezinski.  And there you go.  Madam Speaker, I would love to ask you about the Inflation Reduction Act and the –

Speaker Pelosi.  Yes.

Mika Brzezinski.  – and the politics of it.  Will this be a component of the Dems’ messaging leading up to the midterms?  President Biden struggling with low approval ratings.  Perhaps will this rally support and votes for Democrats leading up to the midterms?  What do you think?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, I think that you have to see it in the context of what this President has accomplished in the year and a half – or a little more than a year and a half that he’s been President.  We did the Rescue package – money in people’s pockets, vaccinations in their arms, children back to school, people safely back to work.  The Infrastructure bill to build, build, build America in a way that has equity and fairness and protects the environment.  And then, today, we’ll go to the White House for – signing the CHIPS and Science bill, which will make America more independent and more self-reliant in terms of supply chain and the rest.  And that will help – bringing down the cost of things is also helpful in fighting inflation.

And now, this legislation.  And I always like to talk about it starting at America’s kitchen table.  Lower health care costs with the subsidies.  Lowering the cost of prescription drugs, which is historic.  This is the first time that we have been able to have the Secretary – and we’ve been working on this for decades – the first time to get, to have the Secretary negotiate for lower prices.  This is a blow to the pharmaceutical companies.  They’ve said, ‘The Democrats are going to pay a price for doing this’ – for lowering the cost to Americans for prescription drugs. 

So this is about a fuller agenda of health care.  Affordable – making health care more affordable, making jobs more – higher wages and good-paying jobs, as well as saving and protecting our environment.  It’s pretty exciting – and when you see it in the context of all the other legislation.  And tomorrow, signing the PACT Act to protect our veterans.  It has an – it has an integrity to it.  And yes, it is about meeting the needs of America’s working families For The People, not politics.  That’s what we’ll –

Joe Scarborough.  Yes.

Speaker Pelosi.  – be talking about in the election.

Joe Scarborough.  And yet, Republicans actually want pharmaceutical companies to be able to continue price-gouging insulin patients.  It’s remarkable – just absolutely stunning.

I wanted to ask you, though, about getting this deal done.  We have been watching progressives and moderates debating each other in front of cameras for a year and a half.  I know it’s probably driven you and a lot of other professionals crazy.  It’s like, come on, let’s get – but, you know, Joe Manchin and others say they have been quietly talking to you for – throughout the entire process. 

And I just – I just want to talk about how messy it can be at times, but ask how did we get to where we got?  This is, by any standard, and ideology aside – in a 50-50 split Senate and a closely divided House – this is a remarkable political achievement.  How did it happen?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, we have – we have our differences in our party, and God bless us all for the exuberances we all bring to the table.  But what unifies us is we are there to work for America’s working families.  When it comes to reducing their health care costs or creating better-paying jobs – again, and having clean, safe places for our children, and saving the planet for the future.  We’re united on all of that. 

But legislation, as you know as a former legislator, is – it’s difficult because we all want everything.  And as I say to the Members, you cannot judge a bill for what it does not do.  You respect it for what it does do.  And what this bill does do is quite remarkable.  Do we want more?  Of course.  Will we continue to work for more?  Of course. 

But we cannot – we have to show our unity to the American people, which we did last week on the CHIPS bill.  I was very proud.  There was not any ‘no’ vote on the Democratic side, even though the Republicans were whipping across – against the CHIPS bill, the CHIPS and Science bill.  When they saw that we had not one ‘no’ vote, then some of them came around and joined us in defiance of their leadership.  

So again, it’s a – it’s a slim Majority.  We hope to increase it.  That’s the plan.  And hopefully get two more Senators.  Because if we can do that – two who would be willing to pull back the filibuster – then we can get much more done in the United States Senate for the Voting Rights Act and voting protections, and the list goes on – a woman’s right to choose and the rest.

So we’re optimistic.  We have always been ready for victory, and now things have turned our way.  And the leadership of our President has been tremendous to get these bills done.  They’re historic in their nature.  They will make us more competitive in the world.  Our preeminence will be more – even more clear to the world, and we thank Joe Biden for his leadership.

Mika Brzezinski.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, thank you very much for being on the show this morning.

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you.

Mika Brzezinski.  So much to talk about.  We appreciate it.

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you – a pleasure. 

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