TIME magazine’s Molly Ball told CNN on Thursday that Nancy Pelosi is “playing a deeper game” than simply deciding whether or not to impeach President Donald Trump — and that in fact, impeachment was more likely than most people think.
Host Brooke Baldwin quoted Ball’s latest column, in which she argued that while “Speaker Pelosi is right to resist the momentum but she’s playing a deeper game,” and asked for clarification.
“Just listen to those remarks that Nancy Pelosi made just today in response to the question,” Ball said. “The headline from those remarks is ‘she’s doubled down on being against impeachment.’ That isn’t what she said. What she says is, ‘we’re not going to impeach for political reasons and we’re not going to not impeach for political reasons.’ She has never shut the door to impeachment from the beginning.”
Ball added that Pelosi didn’t want “a repeat” of the Clinton impeachment, which ended up as an electoral fiasco for the Republicans who pursued it, and wanted to “send a public message” to counter Trump’s “witch hunt” narrative. But she added that impeachment was, in her professional opinion, more likely than not despite current polls.
“I am not arguing for impeachment,” Ball said. “Based on my reporting, I believe it is much likelier than most people believe and most of the conventional wisdom suggests.”
“I think the people who believe that impeachment is this fringe crusade are not recognizing that public support for it is quite high by historical standards,” she said. A recent Quinnipiac poll that showed support at 35% was “a little bit on the low end of the massive polling that’s been conducted on this topic. It’s been as high as 49%. This is before the Mueller report comes up, before people feel they have had enough information to judge.”
“That’s the highest that it’s been for any president since Nixon,” Ball said. “So there already is a pretty high bar of public opinion but as you point out, it’s not a majority.”
Watch the video below.