18:21 GMT28 October 2020
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    Pelosi has previously said that she has avoided contact with the US president because she did not find it "a good use of time", so she has chosen instead to rely on communication through Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, or White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has once again defended not speaking to President Donald Trump for the whole year.

    During an interview on MSNBC on Friday, Pelosi was asked whether she would agree to speak to the president if he "ever tried to open that channel of conversation", to which the House speaker replied, "It would depend on what the purpose is".

    Pelosi explained that she has instead preferred to act through intermediaries, giving examples of how she has negotiated past COVID-19 relief packages and a pact with Mexico and Canada with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and other White House officials. 

    "So it isn't as if it has to be person to person between the speaker and the president. It has to be knowledge for knowledge in terms of what our purpose is, what we know about the challenge we face and what the possible solutions are."

    However, the talks on the next coronavirus relief stimulus have been stalled for months already, with Trump blaming Pelosi for jeopardising the negotiation process. During Thursday's town hall in Miami, he said that the House speaker "doesn't want to do it because she thinks it's bad for her election".

    The last time Pelosi and Trump spoke face-to-face with each other was 16 October 2019, during a White House meeting on withdrawing American troops from Syria. The meeting ended in Pelosi walking out of the room with other Democrats following an exchange of insults between the president and the House speaker.

    Reflecting on these events, Pelosi remembered that she told Trump then, "With you, Mr President, all roads lead to [Russian President] Putin". 

    Relations between Pelosi and Trump have been extremely strained ever since she was elected leader of the House. Pelosi was on the front lines among House Democrats pushing efforts to impeach Trump. The president has said that he has become a victim of a so-called "witch hunt" on the part of Democrats. He hasn't reached out to Pelosi either, but has continued to post tweets in response to her criticisms of his policies and has repeatedly referred to the House speaker as "crazy Nancy".

    White House, pandemic, COVID-19, US, Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi
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