Donald Trump has cancelled Nancy Pelosi‘s overseas trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan, saying that he thinks it is best that she stay in Washington to continue discussions to reopen the federal government.
“I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate” Trump told the speaker of the House in a letter.
His letter came on Thursday, a day after Pelosi sent her own letter asking the President to either postpone his 2019 State of the Union, or to deliver it in writing because of security concerns posed by the shutdown.
In his letter To Pelosi, Trump wrote: “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 Independent reports: In the letter, Mr Trump noted that Ms Pelosi could go ahead with her travels if she books flights through private or public options, but that she would not have access to the US military aircraft that are usually afforded to travelling American dignitaries and officials.
Mr Trump continued: “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. Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”
The US government has been partially shutdown for 27 days, making it the longest lapse in federal funding in US history.
Ms Pelosi had suggested on Wednesday, the president should postpone his State of the Union speech, citing the burden the shutdown has already placed on Secret Service agents who are not being paid but are required to work anyway.
The email exchange between Ms Pelosi and Mr Trump was met with criticism, even from one of the most ardent supporters of Mr Trump’s.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has become a key supporter of the president’s, said that Ms Pelosi’s letter was “very irrsponsible and blatantly political”. He also said that Mr Trump cancelling the speaker’s upcoming trip was “inappropriate”.
“One sophomoric response does not deserve another,” Mr Graham said.