Trump is scared that Pelosi will humiliate him in negotiations over coronavirus response: report
White House photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump (screengrab)

According to The Daily Beast, President Donald Trump is enraged at the fact that he has to craft a coronavirus relief plan with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — and dreads the prospect of speaking with her.

"Two senior Trump administration officials described a president who, out of an intense bitterness toward the House Speaker, has shuddered at the prospect of being in the same room with her during the ongoing public-health crisis and economic reverberations," wrote Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Brodey. "Instead, Trump has deputized some of his more prominent lieutenants to handle the delicate negotiations," most prominently Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

The report continued: "'At this time, the president does not see it as productive to [personally] negotiate directly with Nancy Pelosi,' said one of the senior administration officials. 'For now, it’s best for her to deal directly with Sec. Mnuchin and others in the administration.' The official recalled how Trump bristled at Pelosi for, in the president’s estimation, 'immediately' leaving recent private meetings the two had to leak its contents and try to, in the source’s characterization, 'make the president look bad and score political points.'"

Officials in both parties broadly believe Pelosi has the upper hand in negotiations, as Trump is aware he will take the blame for any problems with the public health response. He is reportedly open to Democratic proposals, but is also far more interested in granting relief to affected industries, like airlines and hotels, which Democrats are less inclined to support.