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    Pelosi condemns Trump’s Capitol visit: ‘Returning to the scene of the crime’

    By Robert Tait in Washington,

    Nancy Pelosi speaks at the Capitol in Washington in 2022. Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

    Nancy Pelosi , the Democratic former House speaker, mounted a forceful denunciation of Thursday’s first visit to the US Capitol by Donald Trump since he incited a mob to attack it on January 6 2021 , accusing him of returning with “the same mission of dismantling our democracy”.

    In remarks that triggered a fresh war of words between the pair, Pelosi said the former president’s visit to discuss strategy with congressional Republicans in advance of the election amounted to a symbolic return to the scene of a crime that he deliberately initiated.

    “Today, the instigator of an insurrection is returning to the scene of the crime,” Pelosi said in a statement. “January 6 was a crime against the Capitol, that saw Nazi and Confederate flags flying under the dome that Lincoln built.”

    Related: ‘Perilous for democracy, good for profits’: is big business ready to love Trump again?

    She added: “It was a crime against the constitution and its peaceful transfer of power, in a desperate attempt to cling to power. And it was a crime against members, heroic police officers and staff, that resulted in death, injury and trauma that endure to this day.”

    Pelosi, whose office was overrun and defiled by invading Trump supporters in the assault, as rioters ran through the halls of Congress calling her name, added: “With his pledges to be a dictator on day one and seek revenge against his political opponents, Donald Trump comes to Capitol Hill today with the same mission of dismantling our democracy. But make no mistake – Trump has already cemented his legacy of shame in our hallowed halls.”

    Her furious broadside may have provided the fuel for outlandish comments attributed to Trump in his Thursday morning meeting with House Republicans.

    Jake Sherman, a reporter for the website Punchbowl, posted on X that Trump had digressed to talk about an imagined romantic relationship between Pelosi and himself, which he said had been suggested by one of the former speaker’s daughters, whom he did not identify by name.

    “Nancy Pelosi’s daughter is a wacko … her daughter told me if things were different Nancy and I would be perfect together. There’s an age difference, though,” Sherman quoted Trump as saying, adding that his words were “close to an exact quote”.

    The reported comments provoked an angry response from one Pelosi daughter, Christine Pelosi, also on X .

    “Speaking for all 4 Pelosi daughters – this is a LIE,” she wrote. “His deceitful, deranged obsession with our mother is yet another reason Donald Trump is unwell, unhinged and unfit to step foot anywhere near her – or the White House.”

    The Hill quoted a spokesman for Pelosi as saying: “That guy has clearly lost his marbles. Not that he had many to begin with.”

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