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Pelosi: Trump accused of risking lives by revealing Afghan trip

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi escalated her fight with President Trump on Friday, accusing him of threatening her security when he publicly revealed her top-secret trip to Afghanistan.

Pelosi’s spokesman accused Trump of posing a ‘grave threat’ to House Democrats’ personal security in a statement on the postponed trip that invoked the warnings of his own State Department.   

‘After President Trump revoked the use of military aircraft to travel to Afghanistan, the delegation was prepared to fly commercially to proceed with this vital trip to meet with our commanders and troops on the front lines,’ Drew Hammill explained.

‘In the middle of the night, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service provided an updated threat assessment detailing that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops, security, and other officials supporting the trip.’

Hammill said, ‘This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.

‘In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights.’

A senior White House official slapped down Hammill’s claims in an email to DailyMail.com. 

‘When the Speaker of the house and about 20 others from Capitol Hill decide to book their own commercial flights to Afghanistan, the world is going to find out,’ the person said. ‘The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat out lie.’ 

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley declined to stop and talk to reporters after an appearance on Fox News about Pelosi’s claims. The topic did not come up during the interview. 

President Trump had assailed Pelosi earlier in the morning, calling her canceled trip to visit the troops an ‘excursion’ in a tweet that slammed her for trying to ‘leave the Country’ during a government shutdown. 

Trump asked, ‘Why would Nancy Pelosi leave the Country with other Democrats on a seven day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi escalated her fight with President Trump on Friday, accusing him of threatening her security when he publicly revealed her top-secret trip to Afghanistan 

President Trump had assailed Pelosi in a Friday morning tweet, calling her cancelled trip to visit the troops an 'excursion' in a tweet that slammed her for trying to 'leave the Country' during a government shutdown

President Trump had assailed Pelosi in a Friday morning tweet, calling her cancelled trip to visit the troops an ‘excursion’ in a tweet that slammed her for trying to ‘leave the Country’ during a government shutdown

‘Also, could somebody please explain to Nancy & her “big donors” in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!’ 

Trump was referring to a rule change his administration is seeking that would lighten the load on farmers seeking seasonal workers to harvest their crops.

He noted earlier in the week, in a speech to the agricultural industry, that he’s working to make it ‘easier’ for farmhands to enter the country and remain in the U.S. 

Many of those laborers are illegal immigrants, and California, a border state with a soaring wine industry, relies heavily on such workers. 

Pelosi is a California Democrat who represents the Bay Area in Congress. 

Trump cancelled a government-funded trip abroad that Pelosi was due to take with other lawmakers on Thursday afternoon, recalling their military jet, as the White House ratcheted up its assault on Democrats standing in the way of Trump’s plans to construct a barrier along most of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pelosi has been scheduled to visit Afghanistan,, by way of Brussels, with other lawmakers. 

They were seen waiting on a bus outside the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon when White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted a letter from the president informing Pelosi that he was grounding her. 

Democratic legislators were left circling the U.S. Capitol amid a mad scramble to confirm details of Trump’s decision to halt their military aircraft.

The president said in his note to Pelosi that he was remanding her plane ‘due to the shutdown’ — a throwback to her request a day before that he delay his State of the Union speech until after the government reopens.

A White House official insisted that the president was not exacting revenge on the Democratic leader, however, for calling on him to deliver his speech to Congress at a later date or from the White House. 

It came off as retaliatory, nonetheless, and Trump ally Lindsey Graham said both party leaders ought to knock it off.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill did not comment on the politics surrounding Trump’s request but noted in tweets that the trip to Afghanistan ‘included a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest’ that the House speaker planned to fill with NATO and U.S. military meetings. 

‘The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines,’ Hammill said. 

Pelosi has been scheduled to visit Brussels and Afghanistan alongside other with other lawmakers, who were on a bus preparing to leave for the trip

Pelosi has been scheduled to visit Brussels and Afghanistan alongside other with other lawmakers, who were on a bus preparing to leave for the trip

Lawmakers were seen waiting on a bus outside the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon when White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted the president's letter

Lawmakers were seen waiting on a bus outside the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon when White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted the president’s letter

Hammill pointed out that Trump traveled to Iraq on Christmas Day amid the shutdown to visit the troops. A delegation of congressional Republicans was also allowed to travel abroad, he argued.

Other Democrats were quick to make the same point and to light Trump up for allowing members of his administration to use a military aircraft to fly to Davos, Switzerland. 

They were scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum next week, but the president called off the trip as they came under heavy scrutiny for the bad optics.

‘Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his Delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,’ Sanders said in an early evening statement.

All congressional delegation trips have been called off, the White House confirmed, until the shutdown ceases. 

A White House official told DailyMail.com on Thursday afternoon that Trump sent the letter to Pelosi informing her that he was calling off her trip before Sanders distributed it.

It was not clear how much of a head start the president gave the House speaker, although the official said that Trump took ‘immediate action’ to keep her from leaving on a military jet.

‘We want to keep her in Washington,’ Sanders told reporters gathered outside her office. ‘If she leaves, she guarantees that the second round of paychecks to 800,000 federal workers won’t go out. The deadline to make that deal is midnight on Tuesday. She wasn’t scheduled to be back until Wednesday. The president wants her here to negotiate.’ 

Pelosi had already called off a congressional recess amid the government shutdown, and the House was due to reconvene on Tuesday of next week. Monday is a federal holiday.

Regardless, Trump informed her in a letter that he was taking the extraordinary step of postponing her trip, which he referred to as an excursion.

‘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. 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,’ he said.

He added, ‘Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.

‘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!’ 

Hammill clarified in tweets that Pelosi was never planning to travel to Egypt. Her trip was to Afghanistan by way of Brussels on a military aircraft.

Flying to Afghanistan commercially is possible via Istanbul and Dubai from Washington, D.C.  But it wouldn’t be safe for Pelosi to go there, now, Democratic lawmakers argued. 

‘We keep trips by government officials to war zones secret for a reason. Trump’s action to publicize @SpeakerPelosi’s trip literally puts the safety of members of Congress and their staff at risk,’ Rep. Val Demings said in a tweet.

A White House official declined to comment on the security aspect of the trip.

House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff told DailyMail.com and other reporters as he left Pelosi’s office during the fiasco that he could not comment on the speaker’s travel plans.

‘I think the president’s decision to disclose a trip that the speaker is making to a war zone is completely and utterly irresponsible in every way,’ he offered. 

On CNN, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was surprised that Pelosi, who had been spotted vacationing in Hawaii over Christmas break, was planning to leave the country while parts of the government were shut down.

‘I couldn’t imagine she would even think about going,’ he said. ‘I’m just shocked she’d even think that she would leave the country? Why would you leave the country with government shut down and you’re Speaker of the House?’ the lawmaker whose party just lost control of the upper chamber said.

Schiff that Trump’s last-minute cancellation of lawmakers’ trip was ‘completely inappropriate,’ especially in light of reported plans for the U.S. to withdrawal troops from Afghanistan.

‘The president’s concern about a war zone apparently doesn’t apply to a delegation of the administration going to Davos the following week,’ he argued. ‘We got confirmation that is still planned. So, this is obviously an action directed at the speaker. And we think as far as we can tell this has never happened in the annals of history.’

His criticism came before the White House announced the Davos trip was off. 

Schiff was among the lawmakers seen climbing down from a bus at the U.S. Capitol. The lawmaker subsequently told reporters: ‘The last two years have been nothing but odd.’ 

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said that both Trump and Pelosi are acting childish.

‘One sophomoric response does not deserve another. Speaker Pelosi’s threat to cancel the State of the Union is very irresponsible and blatantly political. President Trump denying Speaker Pelosi military travel to visit our troops in Afghanistan, our allies in Egypt and NATO is also inappropriate,’ the South Carolina senator said in a statement. 

Graham is working on a bipartisan plan to reopen the government for three weeks while the dispute with Trump over a border barrier continues. He speaks to the president frequently.  

‘I am glad the Speaker wants to meet our troops and hear from our commanders and allies. I am very disappointed she’s playing politics with the State of the Union,’ he added. ‘I wish our political leadership could find the same desire to work for common goals as those who serve our nation in uniform and other capacities.’

The White House has not formally responded to Pelosi’s request that Trump postpone his joint address to Congress on Jan. 29 until after the government reopens. 

‘We’ll keep you posted. Nothing’s changed on that front,’ Sanders said Thursday.

In a campaign fundraising email after he cancelled Pelosi’s trip, the president claimed that ‘Democrats have illegitimately “disinvited” me from making my scheduled and VERY important State of the Union Address,’ as he asked for contributions.

‘Nancy Pelosi asked me to reschedule the State of the Union Address given the “security concerns” regarding the government shutdown. What about the REAL security concerns at our Southern Border? What about the REAL security concerns of American Citizens and their loved ones?’ he demanded to know.

Pelosi did not rescind her invitation to him to deliver remarks to Congress this month in the House chamber, although that is how it was widely interpreted, including by her second-in command, Steny Hoyer.

A senior White House official called the request ‘petty’ in an email to DailyMail.com on Wednesday. 

Trump subsequently called off Pelosi’s congressional delegation trip, known as a CoDel, in a letter to the speaker on Thursday. 

An official who briefed reporters after insisted, ‘It’s not a response to that.’

Lawmakers in both political parties begged to differ.  

Republicans and Democrats continued to exchange rhetorical fire on Thursday over border security and whether or not the Secret Service can handle the January 29 event, given that officers and agents are working without pay. 

Pelosi cited security in her request that President Trump postpone the event during the partial government shutdown. 

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen insisted her agency is up to the task. 

House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer fired back that with the Secret Service lacking shutdown-furloughed support staff, Congress shouldn’t take any chances.

Hoyer had already mangled his party’s messaging by appearing to say on CNN that the annual spectacle had already been called off. 

He said that as long as the federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, Trump won’t be welcome to deliver the speech to a Joint Session of Congress as scheduled.  

He told DailyMail.com after the CNN interview that Pelosi’s refusal ‘to plan business as usual’ applied ‘when the government of the country is partially shut down.’

Pelosi wrote to Trump on Wednesday, asking him to delay his speech but not formally disinviting him. 

A Hoyer spokesperson said in an email that ‘Mr. Hoyer had not read Speaker Pelosi’s letter and mischaracterized it’ on CNN. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) formally requested that Donald Trump delay his annual Capitol HIll speech, in a letter she sent the president on Wednesday, sparking a furious tug of war over the speech

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) formally requested that Donald Trump delay his annual Capitol HIll speech, in a letter she sent the president on Wednesday, sparking a furious tug of war over the speech

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer misspoke on CNN and said the State of the Union Address had been cancelled – only to say minutes later that it was being called off only as long as the government is partially shut down

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer misspoke on CNN and said the State of the Union Address had been cancelled – only to say minutes later that it was being called off only as long as the government is partially shut down

Hoyer's spokesperson told DailyMail.com that Hoyer 'mischaracterized' Pelosi's letter on the air

Hoyer’s spokesperson told DailyMail.com that Hoyer ‘mischaracterized’ Pelosi’s letter on the air

Pelosi tweeted the letter she sent the White House, which politely asked Trump to reconsider the address she had invited him to give because of security concerns

Pelosi tweeted the letter she sent the White House, which politely asked Trump to reconsider the address she had invited him to give because of security concerns

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pushed back against Pelosi, saying U.S. Secret Service is more than capable and ‘fully prepared’ to secure the annual speech

Hoyer had appeared to misinterpret Pelosi’s meaning in saying on the air that she wouldn’t allow Trump to insist on keeping the January 29 date rather than rescheduling.

‘No,’ he said. ‘Our response will be, Mr. President, if you want to open up the government, the Senate has seven bills that it can use.’

Pelosi, a California Democrat, cited ‘security concerns’ amid the government shutdown that has lasted longer than any other federal closure in history.

She asked him to wait to speak to a Joint Session of Congress until the dispute that limits the functionality of the Department of Homeland Security has been resolved.   

She wrote in her letter that no president has ever delivered a State of the Union speech in the midst of a shutdown. 

‘This requires hundreds of people working on the logistics and on the security of it,’ she told reporters at the Capitol. ‘Most of those people are either furloughed or are victims of the president’s shutdown.’ 

Pelosi had already invited Trumpto address the House and Senate, per tradition, on Jan. 29 — a date that the White House accepted — when she took office on Jan. 3.

Republicans noted in the aftermath that the government was shut down at the time of the invitation. 

Trump took a slap at Pelsoi in a Thursday speech before he sent the letter as he claimed that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is ‘groveling,’ but the House leader is refusing appeals to end to the government shutdown, because she’s beholden to the radical left. 

He said in a national security speech that Pelosi will not let lawmakers work with him to come to a border security solution.

‘The party has been hijacked by the open borders fringe within the party, the radical left, becoming the radical Democrats,’ he said. ‘Hopefully Democrat lawmakers will step forward to do what is right for our country, and what’s right for our country is border security at the strongest level.’ 

President Trump claimed Wednesday that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is 'groveling,' but fellow Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is refusing appeals to end to the government shutdown, because she's beholden to the radical left

President Trump claimed Wednesday that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is ‘groveling,’ but fellow Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is refusing appeals to end to the government shutdown, because she’s beholden to the radical left

He added: ‘Stop human hijacking, stop drugs, stop gangs, stop criminals. That’s what we’re gonna do. That was my pledge, and that’s what we’re going to do.’ 

Until then, the federal government will remain shutdown because congressional Democrats refuse to approve border security, he said.

‘We’re going to have border security. It’s going to be tight. It’s going to be strong. We’re going to let people into our country gladly, but they’re going to come in legally,’ he contended. 

The president brought up the situation at the southern border during a speech on his Missile Defense Review at the Pentagon.

‘I would like to briefly address another matter of critical national security, the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,’ he said leading into his daily pitch for a border wall. ‘Without a strong border, America’s defenseless, vulnerable and unprotected.’

He thanked the military for ‘helping us out during the big caravan period’ as he made reference to another group of Central American migrants that has reportedly formed.

‘Thousands and thousands of people. We don’t know where they’re from, who they are, nothing,’ he asserted. ‘We need strong borders. We need strong barriers and walls. Nothing else is going to work. Everyone knows it. Everybody’s saying it now. Just a question of time.’

'While many Democrats in the House and the Senate would like to make a deal, Speaker Pelosi will not let them negotiate,' Trump said of the status of the shutdown

‘While many Democrats in the House and the Senate would like to make a deal, Speaker Pelosi will not let them negotiate,’ Trump said of the status of the shutdown

Yesterday, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, Hoyer, admitted that walls ‘obviously’ work sometimes and that the barrier is not ‘immoral’ on its face. Rep. Katie Hill, a California Democrat, has also said a physical barrier like Trump wants could be effective.

‘While many Democrats in the House and the Senate would like to make a deal, Speaker Pelosi will not let them negotiate,’ Trump said of the status of the shutdown. ‘The part has been hijacked by the open borders fringe.’

Trump said earlier in a tweet that had no apparent connection to any news story, but appeared to be about immigration: ‘The Left has become totally unhinged. They no longer care what is Right for our Countrty!’

The president misspelled the word ‘country’ in the message. He did not send out a corrected version of the tweet.

He went on to bash Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, in a tweet for ‘groveling’ for another meeting at the White House. 

Trump walked out of their last one and hasn’t spoke to the party leader since. 

Schumer offered to come back to the table as he spoke to reporters on Tuesday, if Trump will have him.

‘I’ll meet with him anytime he wants. As you know, the last I spoke with him was when he walked out, threw a temper tantrum and walked out, so we haven’t heard from him since then.’ 

Trump said earlier in a tweet that had no apparent connection to any news story, but appeared to be about immigration: 'The Left has become totally unhinged. They no longer care what is Right for our Countrty!' 

Trump said earlier in a tweet that had no apparent connection to any news story, but appeared to be about immigration: ‘The Left has become totally unhinged. They no longer care what is Right for our Countrty!’ 

Schumer’s office did not have a comment on the president’s tweet. The senator has not commented, either, on the CoDel cancellations.

The argument over military-supported trips is part of a broader fight the president is waging right now against Democrats who will not give him the $5.7 billion he’s demanding for his border wall.

He has overseen a partial government shutdown for nearly a month over their refusal to approve the funds. 

 

 

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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