The US House of Representatives’ Democratic leader has questioned President Donald Trump’s fitness for office, calling for an “intervention”.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said she was concerned for the president’s wellbeing, a day after he abruptly cut short a meeting with her.
The top Democrat described Mr Trump’s behaviour as a “temper tantrum”, saying he pounded the table before leaving.
It represented a new low in relations between the White House and Democrats.
“I pray for the President of the United States,” Mrs Pelosi said on Thursday.
In a response to a question at her weekly press briefing, Mrs Pelosi said she was concerned for the wellbeing of the president “and the wellbeing of the United States of America”.
“I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.”
Mrs Pelosi depicted Mr Trump’s behaviour was “villainous”, citing his rejecting of subpoenas, withholding documents and blocking testimony by current and ex-advisers.
Her attack was the latest episode in an increasingly fraught battle of wills between her and the Republican president.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump, Mrs Pelosi and her Senate counterpart Chuck Schumer, were due to discuss spending on ageing US roads and bridges, a rare possible area of agreement with the White House.
But Mr Trump ended the meeting after barely five minutes.
Almost immediately afterwards, the president appeared in the Rose Garden to declare that he was ending all bipartisan co-operation with Democrats until they stopped their “phoney investigations”.
As rank-and-file Democrats call for Mr Trump’s impeachment, the House speaker continued to warned against such a move, arguing that the president was goading her party to attempt to remove him from office.
“The White House is just crying out for impeachment, that’s why he flipped yesterday,” Ms Pelosi said on Thursday.
“Impeachment is a very divisive place to go.”