By Leigh Ann Caldwell

WASHINGTON — Newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Friday shied away from moving forward with impeachment at this time, calling it a “divisive” option and saying that the language used by one of her colleagues to describe President Trump was no “worse” than what he has said.

“I do think that we want to be unified and bring people together. Impeachment is a very divisive approach to take and we shouldn’t take it … without the facts,” Pelosi said during an MSNBC town hall at Trinity University in Washington, D.C., her alma mater.

Her comments came the morning after one of the newly-elected members of Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., told a progressive audience that Democrats are going to “impeach the mother—-er,” using an expletive to refer to the president.

“I probably have a generational reaction to it,” Pelosi said in reaction to Tlaib’s comments, but added, “I’m not in the censorship business. I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish language standards for my colleagues.”

Pelosi also said that it was “nothing worse than the president has said.” And, she noted that the episode “consolidates his base, but I don’t think they need much consolidation.”

“Generationally, that would not be language I would use, but nonetheless, I don’t think we should make a big deal of it,” she added.

Pelosi, who has been speaker for just one day, is coming under pressure from some of her members to begin impeachment proceedings immediately. But she has resisted that approach, saying that committees of jurisdiction should open investigations to see where the facts land.

She said on Friday that people’s desire to impeach Trump is “legitimate” but she indicated the 2020 election could be a better way to boot the president.

“President Nixon was not impeached. Republicans came to an conclusion that he was hurting them and he had to go,” Pelosi said, adding that she’s not sure if Republicans in Congress will come to a similar assessment about Trump, but “the people will in the election in 2020.”

Pelosi’s sit-down with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, which is set to air at 10:00 p.m. ET, is her first since she was elected speaker of the House for the second time on Thursday.

Pelosi’s ascent to the most powerful member of Congress comes at a tumultuous time. The government is currently on its 14th day of a partial government shutdown over an impasse between President Donald Trump and Democrats on money for a border wall on the southern border.

She put additional pressure on President Donald Trump and Republicans to support House-passed legislation to reopen much of the government, saying that the president is holding hostage government workers’ paychecks over his border wall.

“The wall and the government shutdown really have nothing to do with each other,” Pelosi said, adding that it is “totally irresponsible” to connect the two.

“There is no reason to have workers pay a price with their paycheck,” she said.

Pelosi’s first major act was passing two bills Thursday to re-open the government. The Democratic-led House passed six appropriations bills that have been held up in the government shutdown and a short-term funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security that does not include funding for a border wall. Trump has indicated that he’s veto the bills and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given no indication that he’d bring it before the Senate for a vote.

Pelosi offered President Donald Trump a way out of the government shutdown on Friday, reminding him that he doesn’t have to sign a bill that is passed by Congress. “It becomes the law (after ten days.) The president doesn’t even have to sign,” she said.

Pelosi also ushered through, as is customary, a new rules package to govern the House. Included in it is a provision that states that the House legal counsel will defend against the federal lawsuit on pre-existing conditions. It’s a mostly symbolic measure to put members on record on the issue, especially since health care and pre-existing conditions was one of the defining issues of the 2018 midterms where Democrats won back the majority.

She said that she has become speaker during “interesting” times, saying there has never been a time that has been “more challenging” because of the “difference of opinion and values” between Democrats and the president.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/pelosi-impeachment-divisive-colleague-s-course-language-no-worse-trump-n954696?cid=public-rss_20190104