Washington - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said she and other House Democrats "are not there yet" on the question of impeachment and denied that there are divisions in her caucus on the question.
Amid reports that some Democrats are pushing for impeachment, while others are holding back, Pelosi said the caucus is united and just wants to "follow the facts."
She again said she believes the president is engaged in a cover-up.
"I do think impeachment is a very divisive place to go," Pelosi told a news conference when asked about how Democrats plan to proceed. But she said facts could lead to a situation in which impeachment "is unavoidable."
Since the conclusion of a report two months ago on an investigation into Russian meddling in the US presidential election, Democrats have continued to press the Russia issue, angering President Donald Trump by issuing subpoenas in an effort to obtain his financial records.
On Wednesday, the president learned of unfavourable court rulings allowing those efforts to move forward. Trump's legal team is expected to appeal.
Pelosi described Trump's behaviour on Wednesday, when he walked out of a White House meeting that was supposed to address infrastructure spending, as "another temper tantrum."
Trump was unprepared for the meeting, she said, and opted to use a distraction to draw attention away from the unfavourable court decisions.
Pelosi also asserted that Trump was unhappy that Democrats haven't said they will move ahead with impeachment.
The "White House is just crying out for impeachment," she said as reporters asked about suggestions that Trump would welcome an attempt to remove him from office because it would give him a chance to play the role of victim.
Pelosi criticized the way Trump walked out of the meeting as counter to "the dignity of the office of the president."
She said his advisers should consider an "intervention," suggesting she believes he needs help changing his behaviour.
Trump said after the abrupt end of the meeting that he would not cooperate on policy with the rival Democrats until they stop investigating him.
In a tweet on Thursday he characterized his demeanour in the meeting as "calm" and said he knew Democrats would "say I was raging."
He also chided Democrats in Congress to "get the REAL work of the people done" instead of dwelling on the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian election interference.
The report concluded there was no conspiracy between Trump or his presidential campaign and the Russian government to influence the elections but reached no conclusion on obstruction. Trump and his allies in Congress have said it was thorough and that it is time to move on.dpa