Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office accused President Donald Trump on Friday of endangering the troops by revealing an overseas trip that Democrats had planned.
Trump first brought attention to the trip by canceling it on Thursday amid the ongoing government shutdown.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) also cited the shutdown when she asked the president to postpone his State of the Union address a few days earlier.
Pelosi’s office released a statement the next morning that the administration endangered troops by revealing information about the trip.
“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,” Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, said in a statement.
“This morning, we learned that the administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”
Democratic leaders were preparing to fly commercially in the absence of a government aircraft. The Democratic delegation was planning on taking a trip to Afghanistan as part of its constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight in a war zone.
The group ended up deciding to postpone the trip — in response to the alleged leak.
“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,” Hammill said.
“Whether here or abroad, the speaker always thanks our troops, diplomats and intelligence community for their heroism and service.”
Why would Nancy Pelosi leave the Country with other Democrats on a seven day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid. Also, could somebody please explain to Nancy & her “big donors” in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
The inability of Democratic leaders and the president to negotiate a deal on border security funding led to a government shutdown on December 22. The two sides continued meeting but the talks seemed to only increase tensions, which seemed to boil over this week between Trump and Pelosi.
“Why would Nancy Pelosi leave the country with other Democrats on a seven-day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid,” Trump said in a tweet. “Also, could somebody please explain to Nancy & her ‘big donors’ in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!”
Pelosi cited security concerns for asking Trump to postpone his State of the Union address, since the Secret Service would be responsible for overseeing the event even during the shutdown.
But the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Secret Service indicated they are prepared to handle the State of the Union address as usual. “The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland,” secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wrote on Twitter earlier this week.
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
Trump pointed to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or working without pay as to why he canceled the overseas trip right before they were about to leave.
Trump has long promised to build a security wall along the southern border.
He has threatened to veto spending bills until he gets $5.7 billion to fund the security wall.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Pelosi have only offered to provide $1.3 billion that cannot go toward the border wall.
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