President Trump on Thursday abruptly denied military aircraft to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a foreign trip just minutes before the congressional delegation was set to depart, in a stunning decision that followed her call to delay the State of the Union address amid the government shutdown.
In a curt letter, Trump said her trip has been “postponed.”
“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.
“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.”
Asked if lawmakers might still be able to find another way to travel overseas, a senior congressional official told Fox News Thursday evening only, “I don’t know.”
According to sources, the president pulled the plug on Pelosi’s aircraft as she was about to leave for her overseas trip. Her congressional delegation’s military aircraft was slated to depart at 3 p.m. ET.
A senior White House official also told Fox News that all congressional delegation travel by military aircraft is now postponed.
An official said that “as soon as the president found out about the trip today, he took immediate action.” A source told Fox News that when moving to cancel Thursday’s 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.
“If she had gone on this trip she would have guaranteed that 800,000 federal workers would not receive their second paycheck because she would not have been here to…