GROUNDED: Trump Cancels Pelosi’s International Travel Over Government Shutdown
President Donald Trump postponed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned international travel over the partial government shutdown on Thursday.
Trump sent a letter to Pelosi informing her that she would not be allowed to use military aircraft to travel to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan for a “public relations event” during the shutdown. The president added that Pelosi would be allowed to fly commercial to make the trip if she so chooses.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 17, 2019
“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,” Trump wrote. “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 continued. “Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”
Trump’s letter to Pelosi appeared to be in retaliation to the Speaker’s assertion that she would not invite the president to give a State of the Union address until the shutdown is over. (RELATED: Pelosi: Dems Won’t Agree To Money For Wall)
Pelosi was scheduled to leave for the trip Thursday afternoon and staffers for Minority Whip Steve Scalise said they saw packed travel bags outside of the Speaker’s office.
Minority Whip Steve Scalise first revealed the trip in a session with reporters earlier this afternoon. @Steve_Dorsey reports Scalise staffers told him and other reporters they saw bags packed, ready for the trip, outside the Speaker’s office.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) January 17, 2019
Fox News’ Chad Pergram reported that security officials on Capitol Hill got an “emergency call” from the Pentagon canceling Pelosi’s trip. Officials are apparently still unsure if she will be able to take the trip.
Fox is told CapHill security officials got an emergency call from the Pentagon canceling the overseas trip due to shutdown. No one here knows if the trip is going to happen or not. Lots of confusion pic.twitter.com/eFCqsaNcGe
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 17, 2019
The partial government shutdown has now entered its fourth week, as Democrats and Republicans have not been able to reach a deal on funding for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.