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Ayanna Pressley: Democrats can ‘walk and chew gum’ while pursuing impeachment

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U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley says Democrats can “walk and chew gum” when it comes to pursuing an impeachment inquiry against President Trump while continuing to legislate on issues affecting everyday citizens.

Pressley joined MSNBC’s Joy Reid to discuss Democrats’ moves toward impeachment against the president, as well as Trump’s latest attacks on her and the other three freshmen minority congresswoman who make up the “squad.”

Trump tweeted Saturday morning, “Can you imagine if these Do Nothing Democrat Savages, people like Nadler, Schiff, AOC Plus 3, and many more, had a Republican Party who would have done to Obama what the Do Nothings are doing to me.”

The missive, targeting Pressley and U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), came after The Washington Post reported Trump’s re-election campaign was flooding Facebook with up to $1.4 million in advertisements that included “misleading messages about the ‘socialist squad.’”

“I’m not distracted. He offers hateful rhetoric to distract from his hurtful policies, and the American people are hurting,” Pressley told Reid. “We’re going to continue to lead and to legislate on those issues of care and concern to the American people. Let me give anyone who has doubts the assurance that we can walk and chew gum.”

Trump’s renewed targeting of the squad came as he fired off a series of tweets Saturday morning that included a repeat of the “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” line he offered up after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that Democrats would open a formal impeachment inquiry into him.

The inquiry — launched after a whistleblower complaint about a conversation in which Trump tried to pressure Ukraine’s president into investigating Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden and his son — has been gaining support among House Democrats, with Pressley citing the number in favor at more than 220 on Saturday.

Pressley, who serves on two of the six committees reviewing impeachment, said “there are many bread crumbs here” but stopped short of calling for the inquiry to be expanded to include Trump’s remarks at an event Thursday that any person who informed the whistleblower is “close to a spy” and committed an act akin to treason.

She also said she continues to support an impeachment inquiry into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which she filed last week.

Trump’s envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, a former ambassador to NATO, resigned Friday amid the unfolding scandal.

Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, called on Saturday for Trump to resign, saying it’s “the best thing” for the country.

Herald wire services contributed to this report.

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