Donald Trump issued a dramatic rebuke to Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, publicly canceling her planned trip to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
But as Trump denied the use of military transportation to Pelosi and a group of other Congress members to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan, calling the trip a “public relation event,” a member of Trump’s own family was on a military plane headed to what appeared to be a vacation weekend in Florida.
As The Hill noted, Trump appeared to be acting in response to a letter from Pelosi asking that he consider postponing the State of the Union address amid security concerns during the shutdown. He told Pelosi that he would not authorize military transport for the trip, which would have included a visit to NATO and to U.S. troops stationed in a war zone.
“We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the shutdown is over,” wrote Trump, who made a visit to U.S. troops in Iraq just after the government shutdown started in December. “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.”
Trump was backed up by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said that if Pelosi had made the trip it “would have guaranteed that 800,000 federal workers would not receive their second paycheck because she would not have been here to negotiate any kind of deal.” Democrats have said that Donald Trump has made no attempt to negotiate with them, dramatically walking out of a meeting he had called with Democrats after they said they would not offer border wall funding.
The travel restriction that Donald Trump has placed on Nancy Pelosi apparently do not apply to members of Trump’s own family. In the hours after he released the letter to Pelosi, trackers noted that the Air Force One plane reserved for Melania Trump’s travel took off from just outside of Washington and touched down in West Palm Beach, Florida, where Donald Trump owns the luxury Mar-a-Lago resort.
EXEC1F – #MelaniaForceOne climbing out from Joint Base Andrews
— CivMilAir ✈ (@CivMilAir) January 17, 2019
No government flight to Afghanistan for Pelosi & Co. But Melania's on her way to Florida… https://t.co/XB2mOX99HR
— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) January 17, 2019
Donald and Melania Trump have spent a majority of weekends at Mar-a-Lago when the resort is in season, including spending the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend golfing at the resort. While Trump himself has been away from the golf course and his resort during the shutdown, Melania has taken some time to make a solo trip around Christmas time.