Earlier this the week, fake videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went viral on social media. The videos, slowed down and doctored to make Pelosi seem drunk or ill, were promoted by prominent right-wing figures, including President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to The Guardian.
Some of the videos have been viewed millions of times, and Facebook — which hosts a slew of them — has refused to delete the content, prompting backlash from Democrats and watchdog groups who have long warned about the dangers of online disinformation campaigns.
The saga reached its peak when President Donald Trump tweeted a video of Pelosi “stammering” through a news conference. Although not slowed down or heavily doctored, the video is edited to make Pelosi seem incoherent. Critics accused Trump of amplifying the controversy, but the president is defending his actions.
As he departed the White House for Japan, where he is set to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Trump discussed the videos and the increasingly deteriorating relationship between the White House and the top Democrat, The Hill reports.
The president denied knowledge of the fake videos.
“I don’t know about the videos. I can tell you that — what I’m here is to help the country,” he told reporters.
Trump defended his decision to share the Pelosi press conference video, arguing that he was merely responding to the House speaker’s attacks.
Facebook on fake Pelosi video: Being 'false' isn't enough for removalhttps://t.co/iOOM6wA89H
— POLITICO (@politico) May 25, 2019
“Did you hear what she said about me long before I went after her? She made horrible statements. She knows they’re not true. She said terrible things, so I just responded in kind,” Trump said, referring to Pelosi’s comments about his behavior. The top Democrat had said that the president’s allies and family should stage an “intervention” in order to help him.
Trump then doubled down on the criticism, suggesting that Pelosi had changed, seemingly giving credence to claims that the House speaker is either drinking too much, or suffering from an illness, as the fake videos popular on social media are intended to show.
“Look, you think Nancy’s the same as she was? She’s not. Maybe we can all say that,” he said.
The president then went on to criticize Pelosi and the Democratic Party, suggesting that the Democrats are “obstructionists.”
“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.”
But, as the Hill notes, Trump also said that he can “absolutely” work with Pelosi.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, even though Trump and Pelosi have publicly feuded with each other, the House speaker remains one of the few House Democrats opposed to impeachment. Unlike many of her colleagues, Pelosi has argued against the maneuver, continually suggesting that Trump would actually like to be impeached.