Trump pulls military plane from Pelosi overseas trip in shutdown fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday stopped House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi from utilizing a military plane for an overseas trip, in a tit for tat after the Democratic chief’s suggestion he postpone the State of the Union deal with in the course of the partial authorities shutdown.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrives for a press briefing on the 27th day of a partial authorities shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Republican Trump instructed Pelosi in a letter that her trip to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan, which he derided as a “public relations event,” can be postponed, citing the shutdown that has entered its 27th day.

It was not clear what trip Trump was referring to. Lawmakers typically don’t publicize overseas journeys earlier than they happen for safety causes, notably when the journeys contain a battle zone as in this case.

“Due to the shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed,” Trump’s letter stated.

Trump instructed Pelosi she may make the trip by flying industrial.

The U.S. House Speaker usually makes use of a military plane for overseas journey and it was on that foundation that Trump, as commander in chief, seemed to be appearing.

“He postponed her ability to use military air,” which have to be permitted by the Department of Defense, stated White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

On Wednesday, Pelosi had written to Trump suggesting he postpone his Jan. 29 State of the Union deal with due to safety issues in the course of the shutdown.

The authorities has been partially shut since Dec. 22, in a standoff triggered by Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund a wall alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, which Democrats oppose.

Presidents historically ship the nationally televised annual deal with, which lays out the administration’s targets for the 12 months, in the House of Representatives chamber earlier than a joint session of Congress and the vast majority of the Cabinet.

Pelosi stated earlier on Thursday that she had not acquired a response from the White House, and Trump didn’t reply to the suggestion in the letter.

Trump’s motion drew criticism from one among his Republican allies in the Senate.

“One sophomoric response does not deserve another,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter. He criticized Pelosi’s transfer on the State of the Union as “blatantly political” however stated, “President Trump denying Speaker Pelosi military travel to visit our troops in Afghanistan, our allies in Egypt and NATO is also inappropriate.”

Reporting by Makini Brice and Doina Chiacu; further reporting by Steve Holland; modifying by Grant McCool

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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