President Donald Trump on Friday defended his personal attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, telling reporters that he “just responded in kind” to the Democratic leader after she leveled “horrible” and “terrible” insults at him.
“Did you hear what she said about me, long before I went after her? Did you hear?” Trump said outside the White House, as he departed for a state visit to Japan.
“She made horrible statements,” he continued. “She knows they’re not true. She said terrible things. So I just responded in kind.”
Trump on Wednesday walked out of a White House meeting with senior congressional Democrats after Pelosi earlier in the day accused him of being “engaged in a cover-up.”
The verbal feud escalated Thursday, when Pelosi said she wished Trump’s family and aides would “have an intervention” for the president and questioned whether Trump was “in charge” of his administration.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “I pray for the President of the United States. I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country” https://t.co/5Mbxzbmz15 pic.twitter.com/xEaOtqmnDK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 23, 2019
President Trump attacked Speaker Pelosi’s mental well-being. On Thursday the President tweeted a tightly edited clip of the speaker’s stumbling speech pattern during a news conference in the Capitol.
“PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE” pic.twitter.com/1OyCyqRTuk
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
“Look, you think Nancy is the same as she was? She’s not. Maybe we can all say that,” Trump said, adding: “I think Nancy Pelosi is not helping this country.”
This edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) began spreading across the Web this week, researchers quickly identified it as a distortion, with sound and playback speed that had been manipulated to make her speech appear stilted and slurred.
Trump says he was unfamiliar with doctored videos of Pelosi slurring her words, which began disseminating across social media Wednesday and which his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani reposted (now del Thursday evening.
Facebook says it will continue to host the video of Nancy Pelosi that has been edited to give the impression that the Democratic House speaker is drunk or unwell.
Facebook explained that it’s not removing the video because it didn’t violate its community standards. By Facebook’s rules, the information you post doesn’t have to be true.