Members of President Donald Trump’s family slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her attempt to undermine the State of the Union address.
Donald Trump, Jr. and the president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump spoke out about the California Democrat’s letter to the president recommending he move State of the Union until after the partial government shutdown ends or else submit his speech in writing instead.
The “State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Trump on Wednesday. “Given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.”
The Democrat 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 which began in December over funding for a wall along the southern U.S. border.
News: @SpeakerPelosi letter to President Trump suggesting he move State of the Union until after government re-opens – or submit his speech in writing instead – due to Shutdown effect in DHS and Secret Service, via @FoxReports & @arogDC: pic.twitter.com/CPMvjm7shr
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 16, 2019
“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.
Trump, Jr. admitted that the speaker managed to at least get one thing right.
“Pelosi correctly recognizes that the more President Trump shines a spotlight on the very real human tragedies that occur because of her and her party’s open border policies, the more of a political loser it becomes for them,” he added.
The president’s son called out Pelosi on Twitter, mocking the speaker’s rebuttal after Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 16, 2019
Meanwhile, Lara Trump, the 36-year-old wife of Donald’s son Eric and Trump’s 2020 campaign senior adviser, spoke with Fox News’ Sean Hannity who called out Pelosi’s “political stunt.”
“He could get out there again and really turn things around,” Trump said of the president on “Hannity” Wednesday, noting that Pelosi and Democrats do not want him giving another address like the powerful speech he gave in January 2018.
Trump noted that Pelosi “disinvited” the president from giving the annual address which dates back to President George Washington’s address before a joint session of Congress in 1790.
“But the good news is that the president can give it anywhere he wants. He doesn’t have to give it in front of Congress on Capitol Hill. It is up to him really where he wants to do it,” Trump continued. “Good try on her part but I don’t think it’s going to go over.”
“They can play a game of chicken as long as they want but it’s going to be very hard to win against Donald Trump. He’s been a negotiator his entire life. He fully understands what he’s doing here,” she added. “But the good news is my father-in-law will not back down. He is fighting for the American people because he knows this is about more than a wall. It’s about the future of our country.”
Pelosi contended that the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security “have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.” But her claims were debunked.
Pelosi says she is delaying SOTU due to “security concerns.” Capitol Hill Police have prime responsibility and the legislative branch is fully funded. Bogus excuse, Madame Speaker. Let the President speak! #SOTU
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) January 16, 2019
Senior law enforcement officials have countered that security for the event has been in planning for months and the Secret Service is fully staffed.
Secret Service is fully ready to offer full protection during the #SOTU, a sr. law enforcement official tells @petewilliamsnbc.
“It’s a no-fail mission,” the official says.
Though USSS personnel are not being paid, the intelligence & protection functions are fully staffed. (1/2)
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) January 16, 2019
“We’ve been planning for this for months, as we always do. It didn’t start up 29 days ago,” the official said. (2/2)
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) January 16, 2019
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also pushed back against Pelosi’s claims on Wednesday, tweeting that the agencies are “fully prepared” to handle the event as planned.
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
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