On Thursday, hours after Donald Trump refused Nancy Pelosi authorization to use a military plane for a trip to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Melania Trump boarded a different military plane to head for a weekend vacation at Mar-a-Lago with unpaid Secret Service agents in tow.
Now, Trump’s former predecessor, George W. Bush, is getting some press for taking a very different approach, giving back to his own Secret Service agents. On Friday, the former president posted a picture of himself delivering pizzas to the agents who still guard him (former presidents are given lifelong Secret Service protection).
In the caption for the photo, Bush thanked the thousands of federal employees who are working without a paycheck, and called for an end to the government shutdown that has now stretched into its fourth week.
“It’s time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown,” he wrote.
Bush’s act of kindness came just a day after Donald Trump generated criticism for authorizing his wife’s flight to Florida for a reported weekend vacation. Just hours after Trump denied Pelosi the use of a military plane and shared details of a trip that had been kept secret for security reasons, observers noted that the military aircraft that normally carries the first lady took off from just outside of Washington and touched down in West Palm Beach, Florida.
As The Hill noted, Trump’s decision to refuse authorization for the trip Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress were taking to visit U.S. troops in a war zone appeared to be retribution for a letter Pelosi sent asking him to consider rescheduling the State of the Union address amid security concerns. Trump responded with a letter of his own calling Pelosi’s visit to Afghanistan a “public relations” trip and called on her to continue negotiating an end to the government shutdown.
Trump drew widespread criticism for authorizing his own wife’s trip to his luxury resort, which meant that federal employees who provide security for her had to tag along without pay.
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@LauraWBush and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck. And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them. It’s time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown.
The shutdown, which became the longest in American history last week, was sparked when Donald Trump rejected a bipartisan bill to temporarily fund the government and instead demanded funding for a border wall. Led by Nancy Pelosi, Democrats have remained steadfast in their stance not to offer any funding for the border wall, with Pelosi reminding Trump that he promised to make Mexico pay for the wall.