sunny.png
Monday May 20th, 2019 3:11PM

Trump grounds Pelosi after she imperils his big speech

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — She imperiled his State of the Union address. He denied her a plane to visit troops abroad.

The shutdown battle between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing out as a surreal game of constitutional brinkmanship, with both flexing their political powers from opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as the negotiations to end the monthlong partial government shutdown remain stalled.

In dramatic fashion, Trump issued a letter to Pelosi on Thursday, just before she and other lawmakers were set to depart on the previously undisclosed trip to Afghanistan and Brussels. Trump belittled the trip as a "public relations event" — even though he had just made a similar warzone stop — and said it would be best if Pelosi remained in Washington to negotiate to reopen the government.

"Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative," wrote Trump, who had been smarting since Pelosi, the day before, called on him to postpone his Jan. 29 State of the Union address due to the shutdown.

Denying military aircraft to a senior lawmaker — let alone the speaker, who is second in line to the White House, traveling to a combat region — is very rare. Lawmakers were caught off guard. A bus to ferry the legislators to their departure idled outside the Capitol on Thursday afternoon.

The political tit-for-tat between Trump and Pelosi laid bare how the government-wide crisis has devolved into an intensely pointed clash between two leaders both determined to prevail. It took place as hundreds of thousands of federal workers go without pay and Washington's routine protocols — a president's speech to Congress, a lawmaker's official trip — became collateral damage.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the speaker planned to travel to Afghanistan and Brussels to thank service members and obtain briefings on national security and intelligence "from those on the front lines." He noted Trump had traveled to Iraq during the shutdown and said a Republican-led congressional trip also had taken place.

Trump's move was the latest example of his extraordinary willingness to tether U.S. government resources to his political needs. He has publicly urged the Justice Department to investigate political opponents and threatened to cut disaster aid to Puerto Rico amid a spat with the island territory's leaders.

Some Republicans expressed frustration. Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted, "One sophomoric response does not deserve another." He called Pelosi's State of the Union move "very irresponsible and blatantly political" but said Trump's reaction was "also inappropriate."

While there were few signs of progress Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence and senior adviser Jared Kushner dashed to the Capitol late in the day for a meeting with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And the State Department instructed all U.S. diplomats in Washington and elsewhere to return to work next week with pay, saying it had found money for their salaries at least temporarily.

For security reasons, Pelosi would normally make such a trip on a military aircraft supplied by the Pentagon. According to a defense official, Pelosi did request Defense Department support for overseas travel and it was initially approved. The official wasn't authorized to speak by name about the matter, so spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said the president does have the authority to cancel the use of military aircraft.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California slammed Trump for revealing the closely held travel plans. "I think the president's decision to disclose a trip the speaker's making to a war zone was completely and utterly irresponsible in every way," Schiff said.

Trump's trip to Iraq after Christmas was not disclosed in advance for security reasons.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump wanted Pelosi to stay in Washington before Tuesday, a deadline to prepare the next round of paychecks for federal workers.

"We want to keep her in Washington," Sanders said. "The president wants her here to negotiate."

The White House also canceled plans for a presidential delegation to travel to an economic forum in Switzerland next week, citing the shutdown. And they said future congressional trips would be postponed until the shutdown is resolved, though it was not immediately clear if any such travel — which often is not disclosed in advance — was coming up.

Trump was taken by surprise by Pelosi's move to postpone his address and told one adviser it was the sort of disruptive move he would make himself, according to a Republican who is in frequent contact with the White House and was not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

While he maintained a public silence, Trump grew weary of how Pelosi's move was being received on cable TV and reiterated fears that he was being outmaneuvered in the public eye. Trump was delighted at the idea of canceling Pelosi's trip, believing the focus on the resources needed would highlight her hypocrisy for cancelling his speech, according to the Republican.

Trump has still not said how he will handle Pelosi's attempt to have him postpone his State of the Union address until the government is reopened so workers can be paid for providing security for the grand Washington tradition.

Pelosi told reporters earlier Thursday: "Let's get a date when government is open. Let's pay the employees. Maybe he thinks it's OK not to pay people who do work. I don't."

Trump declined to address the stalemate over the speech during a visit Thursday to the Pentagon, simply promising that the nation will have "powerful, strong border security."

Pelosi reiterated she is willing to negotiate money for border security once the government is reopened, but she said Democrats remain opposed to Trump's long-promised wall. "I'm not for a wall," Pelosi said twice, mouthing the statement a third time for effect.

In a notice to staff, the State Department said it can pay most of its employees beginning Sunday or Monday for their next pay period. They will not be paid for time worked since the shutdown began in December until the situation is resolved, said the notice.

The new White House travel ban did not extend to the first family.

About two hours after Trump grounded Pelosi and her delegation, an Air Force-modified Boeing 757 took off from Joint Base Andrews outside Washington with the call sign "Executive One Foxtrot," reserved for the first family when the president is not traveling with them. It landed just before 7 p.m. at Palm Beach International Airport, less than two miles from the president's private club.

A White House spokesperson did not answer questions about the flight.

___

For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. government shutdown: https://apnews.com/GovernmentShutdown

___

Associated Press writers Jon Lemire, Matthew Daly, Mary Clare Jalonick and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Online Congress News, AP Business
  • Associated Tags: republicans, democrats, Congress, State of the Union, trump, Shutdown
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Federal workers caught in the middle apply for unemployment
Thousands of federal employees and their families are applying for unemployment and food stamps to get by as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on
5:52PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Trump grounds Pelosi after she imperils his big speech
Trump grounds denies Pelosi, denying her a military plane to visit troops abroad and raising stakes in their brinkmanship
5:46PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Status of Lynx star Maya Moore for '19 WNBA season uncertain
Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore's availability for upcoming WNBA season uncertain
5:44PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The shutdown today: Political tit-for-tat continues
The shutdown today: The political tit-for-tat continues with no end in sight
5:26PM ( 38 minutes ago )
10 dead in car bombing at police academy in Colombia capital
Authorities say at least nine people have been killed and dozens injured in a car bombing at a police academy in Colombia's capital
5:22PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Was there collusion? Giuliani contradicts previous stance
President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani now says he "never said there was no collusion" between Russia and members of Trump's 2016 White House campaign
5:17PM ( 46 minutes ago )
AP National News
Trump denies Pelosi aircraft for trip abroad
Trump denies Pelosi a military plane to visit troops abroad, raising stakes in what appears to be a game of constitutional one-upmanship
4:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump calls for expanded missile defense program
President Donald Trump is vowing the U.S. will develop an unrivaled missile defense system in space to protect against advanced hypersonic and cruise missile threats from competitors and adversaries
4:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Laquan McDonald relative dismayed by acquittal
A relative of Laquan McDonald has expressed dismay that a judge acquitted three Chicago officers of trying to cover up the 2014 fatal police shooting of the black teenager
4:02PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Schiff berates Trump for disclosing warzone trip
House intelligence committee chairman: Trump disclosing Pelosi's warzone trip 'completely and utterly irresponsible in every way'
5:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
American Express posts 4Q profit that tops forecasts
American Express is reporting that it swung to a fourth-quarter profit, helped by a lower tax rate and more spending on the company's namesake credit cards
4:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
US shutdown stalls training, other prep for wildfire season
Officials spend the winter months preparing for the upcoming wildfire season, and much of that work is on hold because of the U.S. government shutdown
4:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: House passes latest attempt to reopen govt
The Democratic-led House has again passed a bill to reopen the shuttered portions of the government, but like its predecessors, the measure appears doomed in the GOP-controlled Senate
1:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
Pelosi says Trump 'silent' on postponing State of the Union
Pelosi says Trump 'silent' on postponing State of the Union
12:33PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump says Democratic Party has been 'hijacked'
President Donald Trump says the Democratic Party has been "hijacked" by those opposed to his plan for a wall along the U.S-Mexico border as he seeks to turn up pressure on his political rivals over an ongoing partial government shutdown
12:09PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online President, White House, advisers News
Striking Greek school teachers shut down traffic in Athens
Striking school teachers and other Greek civil servants shut down central Athens for hours Thursday during a protest of new hiring criteria for teachers that were under consideration in parliament
9:39AM ( 8 hours ago )
Ukraine OKs property law that could affect 12,000 churches
Ukraine's parliament has adopted a bill spelling out procedures for transferring church property after a new unified Ukrainian Orthodox church was granted independence from the Russian church
8:30AM ( 9 hours ago )
May battles to keep Brexit on track after no-confidence win
British Prime Minister Theresa May is consulting opposition parties and other lawmakers in a battle to put Brexit back on track after surviving a no-confidence vote, though there is little immediate sign of a breakthrough
8:06AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Netflix's solid 4Q eclipsed by projected slowing US growth
Netflix's posts stellar 4Q subscriber growth, but signals U.S. growth will slow to start new year amid double-digit increase in US
5:24PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Stocks climb on report US may pare back tariffs on China
US stocks finish with solid gains as investors hope the US might cut back its tariffs on imports from China
4:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Slain mayor lies in state at Solidarity museum in Poland
The slain mayor of the city of Gdansk is laying in state at a museum devoted to Poland's pro-democracy Solidarity movement
4:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Federal workers caught in the middle apply for unemployment
Thousands of federal employees and their families are applying for unemployment and food stamps to get by as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on
5:52PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Status of Lynx star Maya Moore for '19 WNBA season uncertain
Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore's availability for upcoming WNBA season uncertain
5:44PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Thousands protest against al-Bashir's rule across Sudan
Thousands protest across Sudan against al-Bashir's 29-year rule, 2 reported killed in Khartoum
5:43PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Canelo Alvarez to fight Danny Jacobs on May 4
Canelo Alvarez will return to the ring and to the middleweight division on May 4 to fight Danny Jacobs. Alvarez will defend his WBC and WBA titles against IBF champion Jacobs in a matchup of two of the sport's top performers
5:37PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Judge acquits 3 Chicago officers of Laquan McDonald cover-up
Judge acquits 3 Chicago police officers of trying to cover up 2014 shooting of black teen
5:36PM ( 27 minutes ago )