President Donald Trump just showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he knows just how to play the game she has started.
Pelosi remarked that the president had been unusually silent in the last day following her letter to Trump suggesting he delay his State of the Union address until the government fully re-opens. No sooner had she addressed his silence in a press conference Thursday than Trump delivered a letter of his own.
Shortly before Pelosi and a congressional delegation was set to depart on a foreign trip, Trump informed the California Democrat that her “excursion” was being “postponed” due to the same shutdown.
“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. 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,” Trump wrote.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 17, 2019
“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. Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” he added.
According to Fox News:
According to sources, the president pulled the plug on her aircraft as she was about to leave for her overseas trip. Her congressional delegation military aircraft was slated to leave at 3 p.m. ET.
A source also told Fox News that when moving to cancel the flight, the White House reasoned that the trip would keep Pelosi out of the country beyond next Tuesday night—when the next government pay period would occur.
Trump’s letter followed criticism of Pelosi’s stunt which many saw as political maneuvering by the Democrat to keep the president from speaking. Pelosi asked Trump to delay his Jan. 29 State of the Union or else submit his speech in writing instead.
“Speaker Pelosi is clearly attempting to block my father from giving his State of the Union speech, not because 20 percent of the government is shut down, but because she is terrified of him having another opportunity to speak directly to the American people about her party’s obstruction, unfiltered and without her friends in the media running interference for her,” Trump, Jr. told The Daily Caller on Wednesday.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 17, 2019
Pelosi cited security surrounding the event and the fact that U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security employees have not been paid amid the shutdown, points that were debunked by senior law enforcement officials and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.