With a Democratic majority preparing to take over the House of Representatives this week, President Donald Trump faces the prospect of divided government for the first time in his political career. But before he dove into politics, Trump offered effusive praise for House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
In a January 2007 radio interview with Don Imus, unearthed in 2016 by CNN’s KFILE investigative team, Trump praised Pelosi as she was preparing to take the gavel as speaker of the House.
“I know Nancy Pelosi. I actually got to meet her through a great friend of mine and, really, a great man, Charlie Rangel,” Trump said.
Trump expressed his high hopes for the incoming Democratic majority at the time:
“Charlie introduced me to her. I got to like her a lot. I’ve been with her a little bit. I think she’s going to be terrific. I think Charlie and the Democrats, I think they’re going to do a very good job. I think that slowly, they’re going to squeeze them out of this war.”
Listen to the interview below, via CNN:
But that interview wasn’t Trump’s only praise for Pelosi. As Politico reported in 2011, when he was first mulling the idea of a presidential run, Trump had sent Pelosi a signed congratulations note when she was first sworn in as speaker.
Trump took the step of congratulating Pelosi personally, signing a copy of a New York Times article with a personal message to celebrate her achievement:
“Nancy — you’re the best. Congrats. Donald.”
Pelosi is expected to become the next speaker of the House after working out a deal with an insurgent group of Democrats who had previously opposed her run. Once she takes the gavel, Pelosi will likely be a thorn in Trump’s side as he first faces the prospect of working with Democrats to get anything done in Washington.