While awfully petty of Trump, have to admit this is kinda funny… tit for tat publicity stunt is par for the course in politics.
President Donald Trump sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, demanding that she cancel her upcoming trip to Europe and the Middle East.
“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed,” he wrote, informing the speaker that she could “reschedule” the weeklong trip abroad when the shutdown was over.
The president used a similar tone of Pelosi’s letter sent on Wednesday, urging him to cancel his State of the Union speech on January 29.
“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 wrote.
He offered Pelosi the chance, however, to allow her to make the trip by flying on commercial flights instead of a taxpayer-funded military jet.
“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” he said.
The president added that he “looked forward” to meeting with Pelosi in the future to make a deal to end the shutdown.
Read the letter below:
PHOTOS: Democrats Stuck on Bus After Donald Trump Cancels Foreign Trip
Confused Democrat lawmakers were left sitting idle on a military bus near the Capitol after President Donald Trump postponed their seven-day foreign trip as the partial government shutdown continues.
Photos shared to social media purport to show Democrats on a U.S. Air Force bus traveling to the airport when they received word that their access to a military plane had been blocked:
House Members sitting on an Air Force bus b/t the Longworth and Rayburn House Office Buildings waiting to see if they are still going overseas after Trump cancelled the trip.
The bus went around the block and back to the Capitol where members eventually got off.
Members including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff getting off the bus in front of the Capitol.
The bus circled the block again…and is back again…
Drew Hamill, the speaker’s chief of staff, issued the following statement in response to the cancelation:
“The CODEL to Afghanistan included a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest. In Brussels, the delegation was scheduled to meet with top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies–to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance. This weekend visit to Afghanistan did not include a stop in Egypt. The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication, and to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines. The President traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL led by Rep. Zeldin.”
In a letter to Pelosi on Thursday, President Trump wrote that due to the shutdown, a trip to Egypt, Brussels, and Afghanistan would be delayed, declaring, “In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I’m 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,” the president continued.
Pelosi is welcome to fly on a commercial aircraft to make the trip, he told the House speaker.
Read the full letter below:
While the shutdown drags on, on Thursday, the State Department instructed all U.S. diplomats in Washington and elsewhere to return to work next week with pay, saying it had found money for their salaries, at least temporarily, despite the ongoing government shutdown.
In a notice to staff posted online and sent to employees, the department said it had found money to pay most of its employees, beginning Sunday or Monday, for their next pay period. They will not be paid for time worked since the shutdown began in December until the situation is resolved, said the notice, which was signed by Deputy Under Secretary for Management William Todd.
President Trump declined to address the stalemate over the speech Thursday during a visit to the Pentagon, simply promising that the nation will have “powerful, strong border security,” including $5.7 billion in funding to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.