Pelosi calls Middle East trip 'helpful' to Bush

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives who was returning Saturday from a trip through the Middle East, said Friday she thinks her mission helped President George W. Bush because it showed the United States is unified against terrorism despite being divided over Iraq. Bush and other Republicans have been on the attack since Pelosi met in Damascus, Syria, with President Bashar Assad, with whom the Bush administration refuses to have any dealings. "Our message was President Bush's message," Pelosi told The Associated Press. "The funny thing is, I think we may have even had a more powerful impact with our message because of the attention that was called to our trip," she said. "It became clear to President Assad that even though we have our differences in the United States, there is no division between the president and the Congress and the Democrats on the message we wanted him to receive." Pelosi said Friday she had paid no attention to the dustup back in the United States.