President Trump Canceled Nancy Pelosi’s Trip to Afghanistan Over the Shutdown Fight

One day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi essentially disinvited President Trump from delivering his State of the Union in the U.S. Capitol, he responded by informing her he would cancel the private government plane she was using for her trip overseas because of the partial government shutdown.

“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,” he wrote in a letter to Pelosi which communications staffers promptly circulated on Twitter. “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.”

Pelosi’s office had not publicly announced that trip, which is standard procedure for lawmakers and public figures flying to conflict zones. They did not immediately respond to request for comment.

It was also not immediately clear if the President has the legal authority to actually cancel this trip.

Pelosi had sent Trump a letter Wednesday morning telling him that the State of the Union, which he has been slated to deliver on Jan. 29, should be either provided to Congress in writing or postponed until the government is re-opened because the workers implementing the tight security would be doing so without pay. (The State of the Union is a National Special Security Event requiring the “full resources” of the federal government).

“The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating planning exercising and implementing security for [NSSE],” Pelosi wrote. “However, both the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.”

As of this morning, she had said she had not heard from the White House.

Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com.

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