President Donald Trump dared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to formally cancel his State of the Union address scheduled for next Tuesday, in a Wednesday afternoon letter.
President Trump’s letter to Speaker Pelosi on the State of the Union pic.twitter.com/B4QN9hDJnv
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 23, 2019
Pelosi wrote Trump last week discouraging him from delivering a State of the Union address to Congress on Jan. 29, claiming that security readiness was affected because protection personnel were not receiving their paychecks.
Pelosi, however, was rebuked by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who said that the department was fully prepared to provide security if necessary.
Today, I wrote to @realDonaldTrump recommending that we delay the State of the Union until after government re-opens, as the @SecretService, the lead federal agency for #SOTU security, faces its 26th day without funding. https://t.co/K2oL8WGvqo pic.twitter.com/g3fIlxDbbK
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 16, 2019
Trump referenced Nielsen’s statement in his latest letter to Pelosi on the State of the Union, saying the Secret Service told him there is “absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event.” The president continued, “Accordingly, there are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union Address. Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation.”
Trump continued that “it would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!”
A source close to the president told The Daily Caller that Trump is all but daring Pelosi to actually cancel the State of the Union address, after her security excuse was revealed as a canard. The source told TheDC that the White House has other plans for the State of the Union address if it is formally canceled within the House of Representatives. (RELATED: Trump Holds Fast On Shutdown As Advisers Warn Of Consequences)
The White House indicated it would be pursuing this strategy Tuesday after it sought to schedule a walk-through for its advance staff at the U.S. Capitol building Monday. The schedule request and the letter from the White House is the latest in a larger saga over a partial government shutdown. The stalemate has lasted more than a month as a result of funding disagreements between Democrats and Republicans for a wall along the U.S. southern border.