Trump Issues a Cutting Letter to Pelosi, Postponing Her Trip Abroad

January 17, 2019, 8:22 PM UTC

President Donald Trump issued a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday stating her previously unannounced trip to Egypt, Brussels, and Afghanistan would be postponed.

“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.”

Pelosi has not yet publicly responded to Trump’s message.

The letter comes 27 days into the partial government shutdown and just a day after Pelosi issued her own letter asking the president to delay his State of the Union speech—scheduled for January 29—until after the government reopens, citing “security concerns.”

Since the House and Senate must jointly adopt a resolution scheduling the speech in the traditional Joint Session of Congress, Pelosi can effectively ban Trump from delivering the State of the Union to Congress in person.

In response, Trump’s letter prevents Pelosi from using military aircraft for her trip (although Trump said she could fly commercial if she so desired). As Speaker of the House, Pelosi would normally have this privilege, Bloomberg reports.

Pelosi’s trip was also previously unannounced, and according to Bloomberg, at least the portion in Afghanistan would have likely stayed private for security reasons until after Pelosi arrived.

Trump also doubled down on his promotion of a more than $5 billion border wall in the letter, telling Pelosi he looks forward to “watching our open and dangerous Southern Border finally receive the attention, funding and security it so desperately deserves.”