President Trump said Monday he’s willing to work with House Democrats on trade and other issues that are “good for our country,” seeming to back off his vow last week that he can’t cooperate with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while her troops are investigating him on multiple fronts.
“I think that we will work with them,” Mr. Trump said of congressional Democrats at a press conference in Tokyo. “Certainly, as things get approved I would love to sign them. I’m only interested in what’s good for our country.”
The president cited his trade deal with Canada and Mexico, one of his top priorities, that is awaiting congressional approval.
“Unions love it. Farmers love it. Manufacturers love it,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s a great deal. I would imagine that Nancy Pelosi will approve that. I would think it would be very hard not to, but we’ll see.”
Last week, Mr. Trump walked out of a White House meeting with Democratic leaders after confronting Mrs. Pelosi for saying that he was “engaged in a cover-up” by stonewalling various House investigations. The president announced that he wouldn’t work with Democrats until they “get these phony investigations over with.”
Some prominent Republican allies of the president have been urging him in recent days to work with Democrats despite the tensions that erupted last week over House investigations that could lead to an impeachment effort.
“[If] they say ‘no’ to you, that will help you. If they say ‘yes’ and work with you, that will help the country,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “So I don’t believe that the idea of working with the Democrats should be taken off the table [because] they’re going too far.”
Mr. Trump said Democrats are “very disappointed” with the result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which determined there was no collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
“They can’t get over the fact that I never spoke to Russia, never dealt with Russia,” Mr. Trump said. “The Democrats cannot understand what happened. The only thing you can say about me, that some people may not like, is that I’ve created one of the greatest economies anywhere in the world.”
Even as he appeared to walk back his confrontation with House Democrats, Mr. Trump slammed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Monday, calling him “a disaster” and agreeing with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s characterization of the Democratic presidential candidate as “low IQ.”
“Kim Jong-un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is, based on his record, I think I agree with him on that,” Mr. Trump said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.
The president also heavily criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy on North Korea and Iran, especially the Iranian nuclear deal, from which Mr. Trump withdrew the U.S.
In response to a reporter’s question, Mr. Trump said he wasn’t siding with a dictator over a former U.S. vice president.
“I don’t take sides as to who I’m in favor of, who I’m not,” Mr. Trump said. “But I can tell you that Joe Biden was a disaster. His administration with President Obama, they were basically a disaster when it came to so many things.”
Mr. Biden is leading in polls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In a tweet Sunday night, the former vice president shared a campaign message: “Everybody knows who Donald Trump is, we have to let them know who we are. We choose hope over fear. Truth over lies. And unity over division.”
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Monday criticized Mr. Trump.
“My thoughts on that are that Kim Jong-un is a murderous dictator and the vice president, Biden, served this country honorably,” Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told reporters. “It’s just one more example, though, of the way that this president tries to draw attention to himself by saying things that shock the conscience, to distract us from his deep unpopularity and the deep unpopularity of the Republicans’ governing agenda.”