Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president
Trump denies knowledge of fake videos, says he can work with Pelosi
President Trump on Friday said he was unfamiliar with doctored videos of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) being shared on social media, saying he could "absolutely" work with the Democratic leader while accusing her of "not helping the country."
"I don't know about the videos. I can tell you that - what I'm here is to help the country," Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for Japan.
Trump's comments came one day after he retweeted a video from Fox Business Network that, while not doctored, had been selectively edited to combine clips of the California Democrat tripping over her words in a press conference.
The president shared the clip the same day that The Washington Post reported that videos altered to make Pelosi appear to be slurring her words have spread on social media at a rapid rate.
Trump and Pelosi have been locked in a bitter war of words this week, exchanging insults and barbs amid an intensifying feud after the president walked out of a meeting at the White House.
The president was asked repeatedly on Friday whether his spat with Pelosi had gotten too personal. Trump said he can "absolutely" work with Pelosi moving forward, but simultaneously asserted she's "not helping this country."
Trump maintained that Democrats must abandon their investigations into his administration, campaign and finances before the two sides can work together on issues like infrastructure and drug pricing. But he indicated he'd be willing to come to the table once that happened.
"I can work with the Speaker," Trump said. "Sure, I can work with the Speaker. I can absolutely work with [her]."
The president appeared particularly frustrated at the suggestion that he had instigated the escalating verbal spat.
"Did you hear what she said about me long before I went after her?" Trump responded after a reporter asked what he hoped to accomplish with "personal attacks" on Pelosi. "She made horrible statements. She knows they're not true. She said terrible things, so I just responded in kind.
"Look, you think Nancy's the same as she was? She's not. Maybe we can all say that," Trump continued. "I'm only speaking for myself, I want to do what's good for the country. I think Nancy Pelosi is not helping this country. I think the Democrats are obstructionists. They're hurting our country very, very badly."
The growing divide between Trump and Pelosi was sparked Wednesday morning, when the president walked out of a planned meeting to discuss infrastructure after the Speaker accused him of being engaged in a "cover-up."
Pelosi said Thursday at her weekly news conference that the president had used her comments as "an excuse" to abandon infrastructure negotiations. She has insisted Democrats can conduct investigations and work on legislation at the same time.
The Speaker went on to argue Trump is "crying out" to be impeached and suggested the president's friends and family stage an "intervention."
Trump was asked about her comments later Thursday at the White House, where he ratcheted up his attacks on Pelosi. He alleged that she could not grasp the complexities of trade policy while referring to himself as an "extremely stable genius."
"I have been watching her for a long period of time," Trump said of Pelosi. "She's not the same person. She's lost it."