President Donald Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday that her trip to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan had been canceled over the partial government that has run into its 27th day.
“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 writes in a letter addressed to Speaker Pelosi.
“In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure that you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” Trump’s letter says. “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.”
JUST IN: In tit-for-tat response, President Trump informs Speaker Pelosi via letter that her foreign trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan "has been postponed" until after the government shutdown is over, unless she uses commercial travel. pic.twitter.com/Uw6XRwphJl
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 17, 2019
“I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching our open and dangerous Southern Border finally receive the attention, funding and security it so desperately deserves!”
According to Fox News, the trip cancellation emerged just an hour before the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives was scheduled to leave on Thursday afternoon.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shared the letter in a tweet on Thursday, a day after the House speaker had sent the President a letter suggesting they reschedule his planned State of the Union address scheduled for later this month until the government shutdown is resolved.
As NBC News correspondent Micah Grimes notes, “This letter reveals the secret travel plans into a war zone for one of the most high ranking officials in the US.”
This letter reveals the secret travel plans into a war zone for one of the most high ranking officials in the US. https://t.co/Yhs4OMtkdp
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) January 17, 2019
It was not immediately clear what trip Trump was referring to as Pelosi had yet to publicly announce a trip to those countries, or whether Trump has the authority to prevent her from traveling abroad on government aircraft.
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Iraq to visit U.S. troops on the day after Christmas, several days into the shutdown that is now in its fourth week.