Pelosi Accuses Trump Administration of Leaking Travel Plans

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump talks with reporters. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On Thursday President Trump wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that her trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan “has been postponed” due to the government shutdown. Pelosi then made plans to travel commercially as the president suggested but canceled those plans as well after her travel plans were “leaked” to the press.

Tit for Tat

The government shutdown is going on its fourth week, and President Trump and Speaker Pelosi are at a standstill over what happens next. On Wednesday morning Pelosi made a move, suggesting that Trump postpone his State of the Union address until after the government re-opened. In response, President Trump sent a letter to her desk telling her that her trip overseas would have to be postponed due to the government shutdown.

President Trump stated in his letter to Speaker Pelosi that “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 appropriate.” He continued by saying that “Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” [1]

It’s Cancelled

Pelosi took what he said to heart and scheduled commercial flights for Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan. That is until the “administration then leaked” that they were traveling commercially. An aide informed Pelosi that the administration had found out her plans because the State Department has to pay for flights, commercial or military.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said that the safety of their trip had been comprimised due to the President announcing their travels as well as the administration leaking their travel plans: “This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”

Pelosi later said that it was “very irresponsible on the part of the president” to reveal their trip. “You never, never give advance notice of going into a battle area,” she continued, adding “perhaps the president’s inexperience didn’t have him understand that protocol.” [2]

Hammill said their trip to Afghanistan would be indefinitely postponed “so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights.”

It’s Public Information Now

A White House official told Newsweek that the “idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is an offensive flat out lie.” They added the “world is going to find out” when a group of lawmakers book commercial flights to Afghanistan.

What Next?

The intentions of Speaker Pelosi’s trip was to stop in Brussels to affirm the U.S.’s commitment to NATO as well as stopping in Afghanistan to calm concerns about the controversial decision to withdraw troops from Syria. [3]

When Pelosi was asked whether Trump canceling her trip was retaliation for her postponing his State of the Union address, she replied “I would hope not. I don’t think the president would be that petty, do you?” [4]


Notes:

  1. ^Cnn. “Read: President Trump’s letter to Speaker Pelosi.” CNN, 18 Jan. 2019, www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/trump-pelosi-letter/index.html. (go back↩)
  2. ^Trump caused “grave threats” to Pelosi, troops by “leaking” military and commercial travel plans: Pelosi’s Office.” Newsweek, 18 Jan. 2019, www.newsweek.com/pelosi-trump-trip-troops-afghanistan-1297261. (go back↩)
  3. ^Albert, Victoria. “Pelosi Cancels Trip, Accuses Trump of Leaking Travel Plans.” Daily Beast, 18 Jan. 2019, www.thedailybeast.com/pelosi-says-trump-leaked-commercial-travel-plans-forcing-her-to-cancel-afghanistan-trip. (go back↩)
  4. ^DeBonis, Mike. “Pelosi abandons Afghanistan trip, accuses Trump of imperiling lawmakers with disclosure.” Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/security-concerns-created-by-trumps-disclosure-will-delay-afghanistan-trip-pelosi-says/2019/01/18/b2d61536-1b2f-11e9-8813-cb9dec761e73_story.html. (go back↩)

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