TRUMP CLIPS PELOSI’S WINGS: Cancels Speaker’s Overseas Trip 1 HOUR TO DEPARTURE, Demands She Fly Commercial!

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She imperiled his State of the Union address. He denied her a plane to visit troops abroad.

The shutdown battle between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing out as a surreal game of constitutional brinkmanship, with both flexing their political powers from opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as the negotiations to end the monthlong partial government shutdown remain stalled.

In dramatic fashion, Trump issued a letter to Pelosi on Thursday, just before she and other lawmakers were set to depart on the previously undisclosed trip to Afghanistan and Brussels. Trump belittled the trip as a “public relations event” — even though he had just made a similar warzone stop — and said it would be best if Pelosi remained in Washington to negotiate to reopen the government.

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative!” concluded Trump, who had been smarting since Pelosi, the day before, called on him to postpone his Jan. 29 State of the Union address due to the shutdown.

Denying military aircraft to a senior lawmaker — let alone the speaker, who is second in line to the White House, traveling to a combat region — is very rare. Lawmakers were caught off guard. A bus to ferry the legislators to their departure idled outside the Capitol on Thursday afternoon.

A bus was waiting outside the Capitol at the time of the announcement, waiting to take Pelosi and the delegation to the airport.

The political tit-for-tat between Trump and Pelosi laid bare how the government-wide crisis has devolved into an intensely pointed clash between two leaders both determined to prevail. It took place as hundreds of thousands of federal workers go without pay and Washington’s routine protocols — a president’s speech to Congress, a lawmaker’s official trip — became collateral damage.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the speaker planned to travel to Afghanistan and Brussels to thank service members and obtain briefings on national security and intelligence “from those on the front lines.” He noted Trump had traveled to Iraq during the shutdown and said a Republican-led congressional trip also had taken place.

Trump’s move was the latest example of his extraordinary willingness to tether U.S. government resources to his political needs. He has publicly urged the Justice Department to investigate political opponents and threatened to cut disaster aid to Puerto Rico amid a spat with the island territory’s leaders.

Some Republicans expressed frustration. Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted, “One sophomoric response does not deserve another.” He called Pelosi’s State of the Union move “very irresponsible and blatantly political” but said Trump’s reaction was “also inappropriate.”

While there were few signs of progress Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence and senior adviser Jared Kushner dashed to the Capitol late in the day for a meeting with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And 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.

For security reasons, Pelosi would normally make such a trip on a military aircraft supplied by the Pentagon. According to a defense official, Pelosi did request Defense Department support for overseas travel and it was initially approved. The official wasn’t authorized to speak by name about the matter, so spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said the president does have the authority to cancel the use of military aircraft.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California slammed Trump for revealing the closely held travel plans. “I think the president’s decision to disclose a trip the speaker’s making to a war zone was completely and utterly irresponsible in every way,” Schiff said.

Trump’s trip to Iraq after Christmas was not disclosed in advance for security reasons.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump wanted Pelosi to stay in Washington before Tuesday, a deadline to prepare the next round of paychecks for federal workers.

“We want to keep her in Washington,” Sanders said. “The president wants her here to negotiate.”

The White House also canceled plans for a presidential delegation to travel to an economic forum in Switzerland next week, citing the shutdown. And they said future congressional trips would be postponed until the shutdown is resolved, though it was not immediately clear if any such travel — which often is not disclosed in advance — was coming up.

Trump was taken by surprise by Pelosi’s move to postpone his address and told one adviser it was the sort of disruptive move he would make himself, according to a Republican who is in frequent contact with the White House and was not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

While he maintained a public silence, Trump grew weary of how Pelosi’s move was being received on cable TV and reiterated fears that he was being outmaneuvered in the public eye. Trump was delighted at the idea of canceling Pelosi’s trip, believing the focus on the resources needed would highlight her hypocrisy for cancelling his speech, according to the Republican.

Trump has still not said how he will handle Pelosi’s attempt to have him postpone his State of the Union address until the government is reopened so workers can be paid for providing security for the grand Washington tradition.

Pelosi told reporters earlier Thursday: “Let’s get a date when government is open. Let’s pay the employees. Maybe he thinks it’s OK not to pay people who do work. I don’t.”

Trump declined to address the stalemate over the speech during a visit Thursday to the Pentagon, simply promising that the nation will have “powerful, strong border security.”

Pelosi reiterated she is willing to negotiate money for border security once the government is reopened, but she said Democrats remain opposed to Trump’s long-promised wall. “I’m not for a wall,” Pelosi said twice, mouthing the statement a third time for effect.

In a notice to staff, the State Department said it can 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.

The new White House travel ban did not extend to the first family.

About two hours after Trump grounded Pelosi and her delegation, an Air Force-modified Boeing 757 took off from Joint Base Andrews outside Washington with the call sign “Executive One Foxtrot,” reserved for the first family when the president is not traveling with them. It landed just before 7 p.m. at Palm Beach International Airport, less than two miles from the president’s private club.

A White House spokesperson did not answer questions about the flight.

(AP)




36 COMMENTS

  1. The President is a man of resolute action. Nancy can still go on her PR trip but she will have to pay for it if she deems it so important. President Trump did not as your headline says “Demands She Fly Commercial!”, he simply told her, free government transport is not available but that, of course, he was not seeking to prevent her going under her own steam. He is the President and Commander in Chief after all.

  2. Dear “Amil Zola (which language is this?????)”
    “What a petty little man” you wrote. Thats fine with us. We dont need our president to live his life according to the mesilas yesharim and reishis chachma. I dont care when you are a petty little man taking revenge against those who do you something annoying, and so dont I care if the president of this country does so. As long as he does his presidential job to the best he can. Enjoy life and remember that this (that you are a “petty little man”) the next time you take revenge at the guy who pushed himself ahead of the supermarket line in front of you.

  3. he has lots of stamina to keep on going with continuing the shutdown until the economy is in shambles and the country falls apart piece by piece

  4. GOOD FOR HIM!! She is such a witch. It is unfortunate that they have to have these petty little fights. But SHE and that jerk Shmucky Chucky are the ones who will not even sit down to talk. Trump is willing to talk and to come to a compromise. They are the little petty tyrants.

  5. Pelosi had the audacity to interfere with the State of the Union Address, so President Donald Trump absolutely should deny her access to the Royal aeroplane. A good captain stays with his flock [unpaid Federal workers], which is exactly what President Donald Trump is so gracefully doing. How about putting Pelosi and Schumer on a 1 way trip, and never letting them come back. We all would be so much better off!!!

  6. One of the problems here is that Pelosi makes a claim that is absolutely untrue. She referred openly to the “security” issue. That happens to be inaccurate, and she knows it. The security aspects of DHS relevant to Washington and the Secret Service are not shut down. These services are functioning as usual, and none of those workers are furloughed or not getting paid. If she stated that she was withdrawing the invitation because it was inappropriate to hold the address during a shutdown, I could disagree, but see that she has a point. But, a typical Democrat, truth plays zero role in her life, and that is what we will be punished with for the next two years. May HKB”H grant us a miracle and protect us from the lying Pelosi. Too much power, too little conscience.

  7. Petty. Small. Vindictive.
    But when Pelosi tries to cancel the state of the union, that’s not petty.
    I guess it all depends on who starts.
    So if trump wants to be not petty, he should start first. I get it.

    Amil Zola, would you say you are petty for responding to trump?

    Rt are you a pitiful baby for calling someone a name?

    MoeIsrael,
    Please explain to me exactly why it’s trump who is ”continuing the shutdown”?
    Last I checked, if Pelosi would agree to fund the wall, the government would be up and running. So isn’t it Pelosi who is causing the shutdown???
    Where am I wrong?

    Bottom line the democrats are not used to someone standing up to them after all the years of reporting to Amil Zola type tricks of doming whatever despicable action you want and then shaming the other side into inaction.
    Yes trump has no shame.
    Unfortunately for the democrats that sorta takes away most of their ammunition

  8. Ben7863, and yet the president went overseas during a shutdown. Well this brouhaha has served it’s purpose. While all of this was going on Melania was able to fly to Mar a Largo, almost unnoticed.

    Gentle people have a good evening and a pleasant tomorrow.

    Oh BTW Thank Hashem, I’m not the least bit impacted by your insults or the insults of posters here in YWN.

  9. “I think the president’s decision to disclose a trip the speaker’s making to a war zone was completely and utterly irresponsible in every way,”

    He didn’t do that. He disclosed that she’s not making the trip. There’s nothing irresponsible about that! If she decides to go anyway, on a commercial airline, he won’t disclose it.

  10. The president went overseas when Pelosi and Schumer were out of town and he was not needed in Washington. And he went for one day; straight there and back. In addition, he achieved something; the soldiers appreciated seeing him. Nobody was looking forward to Pelosi, or is disappointed to have missed her. In Brussels maybe, not in Afghanistan.

    And why on earth should the president’s family not go to Florida? They’re not needed in any negotiations with Congress.

  11. Mihouse: One reason #Flotulance should not be flying down to Palm Beach fo a weekend vacation is that the approximately 28 Secret Service agents who have to accompany her or guard the Mar Lago golf course while she is there are NOT getting paid and are forced to take a weekend away from their families. I don’t think that the Pelosi trip was essential while the shutdown is ongoing but the royal style of the Trumpkopfs is insanity.

  12. To LittleKnowledge: You are correct that some components of DHS including the SS are still on the job but that is only because they are required to do so. The members of the SS and the President’s protective detail are NOT being paid and will only receive their compensation once the President signs a new appropriations bill for DHS and other agencies affected. As referenced above in relations to @Flotulence’s flight this evening down to Palm Beach, these SS agents are already demoralized and stressed and ANY of these activities are only making it more difficult. All of them should stay home and work on a resolution of this fiasco.

  13. Who said this?

    “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.”

  14. To Amil Zolah: It was definitely Crooked Hillary. She sneaked in to the WH (using her old ID card) and impersonated the Trumpkopf at the meeting with Pelosi and Schumer. Great disguise and impersonation. The Tumpkopf would never have made such a stupid statment.

  15. Don’t you get it? If a democrat does “it”, it’s correct. If a republican does the same it, it’s immoral. This is a leftist axiom along with subjective truth, illogic and yes, anti-semitism. That any religious Jew supports the Democratic Party is disgraceful.