Donald Trump on Thursday canceled Nancy Pelosi’s overseas trip to visit U.S. troops, citing the government shutdown, CBS News is reporting. He suggested she could fly commercial if she’s still interested.
Pelosi and a few other Congressional Democrats had been planning on flying, on military aircraft, to U.S. bases in Brussels and Afghanistan to visit U.S. troops. The trip, much like Trump’s Christmas trip to U.S. troops in Iraq, had been kept under wraps from the general public, due to security issues.
However, just hours before Pelosi and her colleagues were scheduled to get on the bus to Joint Base Andrews where they would then board military aircraft, Trump issued an open letter to Pelosi saying that, due to the shutdown, the trip wouldn’t be happening.
“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 that you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.”
Not for nothing, the Pentagon is not affected by the shutdown, and the military is funded for the remainder of the fiscal year.
The move comes just a day after Pelosi asked Trump to delay his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. As CNN notes, just a day ago Pelosi cited the cost of security and the fact that Capitol Police and the Secret Service are among the federal agencies whose employees are working without pay, in asking Trump to postpone the address, scheduled for January 29. She suggested Trump could deliver the address from the Oval Office, or simply give the address to Congress in the form of a letter.
Pelosi’s office, meanwhile, is crying foul after the cancellation, according to the Washington Examiner. In a series of tweets, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill pointed out that the President had flown on military aircraft to visit U.S. troops in Iraq, during the shutdown. He also noted that the purpose of going to Brussels was simply for required “pilot rest,” and that the planned trip did not include any stops in Egypt, which Trump had mentioned in his letter.
“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.”
As of this writing, the government shutdown is in its 27th day.