Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is furious with President Trump after he cancelled her scheduled PR trip around the world just before she boarded the plane.
Pelosi had been scheduled to visit Brussels and Afghanistan with other Democratic colleagues, despite the government shutdown.
However, Trump was having none of it. Pelosi was told to fly commercial using her own money, instead of leeching public funds.
“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over,” the White House told Pelosi. “In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.”
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 17, 2019
Shortly after the White House issued the letter, Democratic lawmakers were left circling the U.S. Capitol amid a mad scramble to confirm details of Trump’s decision to halt their military aircraft.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: The president said in his note to Pelosi that he was remanding her plane ‘due to the shutdown’ — a throwback to her request a day before that he delay his State of the Union speech until after the government reopens.
A White House official insisted that the president was not exacting revenge on the Democratic leader, however, for calling on him to deliver his speech to Congress at a later date or from the White House.
It came off as retaliatory, nonetheless, and Trump ally Lindsey Graham said both party leaders ought to knock it off.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill did not comment on the politics surrounding Trump’s request but noted in tweets that the trip to Afghanistan ‘included a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest’ that the House speaker planned to fill with NATO meetings.
‘The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines,’ Hammill said.
Hammill pointed out that Trump traveled to Iraq on Christmas Day amid the shutdown to visit the troops. A delegation of congressional Republicans was also allowed to travel abroad, he argued.
Other Democrats were quick to make the same point and to light Trump up for allowing members of his administration to use a military aircraft to fly to Davos, Switzerland.
They were scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum next week, but the president called off the trip as they came under heavy scrutiny for the optics of the trip.
‘Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his Delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,’ Sanders said in an early evening statement.
All congressional delegation trips have been called off, the White House confirmed, until the shutdown ceases.
A White House official told DailyMail.com on Thursday afternoon that Trump sent the letter to Pelosi informing her that he was calling off her trip before Sanders distributed it.
It was not clear how much of a head start the president gave the House speaker, although the official said that Trump took ‘immediate action’ to keep her from leaving on a military jet.
‘We want to keep her in Washington,’ Sanders told reporters gathered outside her office. ‘If she leaves, she guarantees that the second round of paychecks to 800,000 federal workers won’t go out. The deadline to make that deal is midnight on Tuesday. She wasn’t scheduled to be back until Wednesday. The president wants her here to negotiate.’
Pelosi had already called off a congressional recess amid the government shutdown, and the House was due to reconvene on Tuesday of next week.
But Trump grounded her in a letter, regardless, that said he was taking the extraordinary step of postponing her trip.
‘Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.
‘In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate. I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown.
He added, ‘Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.’
‘I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching our open and dangerous Southern Border finally receive the attention, funding, and security it so desperately deserves!’