U.S. President Donald Trump told House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday that her trip to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan had been postponed over the partial government shutdown that has run into its 27th day.
It was not immediately clear what trip Trump was referring to. Lawmakers often do not publicize foreign trips before they occur for security reasons.
The U.S. House Speaker normally uses a military plane for overseas travel and it was on that basis that Trump, as commander in chief, appeared to be acting.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 17, 2019
“He postponed her ability to use military air, which must be approved” by the Department of Defense, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. “As he made clear in the letter she can still go but must do so commercially.”
On Wednesday, Democrat Pelosi had written to Republican Trump suggesting he postpone his annual State of the Union address, a tradition in which the president outlines the administration’s goals for the upcoming year, unless the government reopens.
Pelosi said earlier on Thursday that she had not received a response from the White House, and Trump did not respond to the suggestion in the letter.
“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed,” Trump wrote in a letter to the top House Democrat. “We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.”
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Grant McCool)