Trump cancels Pelosi's trip overseas amid State of the Union fight

President Donald Trump fired back Thursday at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) request that he delay the State of the Union address until the government shutdown is resolved. 

Instead of responding directly to her request that the event be delayed because of security funding concerns, Trump wrote in an apparent retaliation that he had canceled her upcoming delegation trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan (though Pelosi’s team later said there was no scheduled stop in Egypt).

“Obviously if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” the president wrote. The suggestion comes despite the fact that the Air Force budget has not been affected by the 27-day shutdown. 

CBS and Fox News both reported that Trump’s letter canceling her trip was issued about an hour before Pelosi was set to depart.

As noted by Politico’s Capitol Hill bureau chief, John Bresnahan, Trump’s public letter exposed a trip that had been a “closely held secret due to security concerns” for Pelosi. 

In a response to Trump, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, debased the president’s claim that the trip was a mere “public relations event.”

“In Brussels, the delegation was scheduled to meet with top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies–to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance,” he tweeted. In Afghanistan, he added, she intended to “obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines” and thank them for their service. 

The speaker, who by tradition invites the president to give the annual address to a joint session of Congress, had asked Trump in a letter Wednesday to reschedule the planned Jan. 29 appearance unless the shutdown ends.

She cited security concerns caused by the shutdown, which has forced the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security to furlough some workers and require others to work without pay.

DHS considers the State of the Union to be a “national special security event” requiring “some of the most complex and logistically complicated protective operations undertaken by the Secret Service, often requiring anywhere from 3 to 18 months of planning.” 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) joined in on the kerfuffle Thursday, too. Though he said in a statement that Pelosi’s request was “very irresponsible and blatantly political,” he condemned Trump canceling her trip as “also inappropriate.”

This story has been updated with more context and comments from Hammill and Graham.

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Furloughed workers protest amid government shutdown
Union workers demonstrate in front of the White House against the government shutdown on January 10, 2019, in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump headed Thursday to the US-Mexico border to push his demand for a wall, a day after he walked out of negotiations with Democrats in a political crisis paralyzing the government. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Union members and Internal Revenue Service workers rally outside an IRS Service Center to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Covington, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
IRS worker Christine Helquist joins a federal workers protest rally outside the Federal Building, Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. Payday will come Friday without any checks for about 800,000 federal employees affected by the government shutdown, forcing workers to scale back spending, cancel trips, apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to stay afloat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
IRS worker Angela Gran, center, and others participate in a federal workers protest rally outside the Federal Building, Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. Payday will come Friday without any checks for about 800,000 federal employees affected by the government shutdown, forcing workers to scale back spending, cancel trips, apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to stay afloat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Cheryl Monroe, right, a Food and Drug Administration employee, and Bertrice Sanders, a Social Security Administration employee, rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Government workers rally against the partial government shutdown at Federal Plaza, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Chicago. The partial government shutdown continues to drag on with hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job or working without pay as the border wall fight persists. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
People gather during a federal workers protest rally at the Federal Building Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
People gather during a federal workers protest rally at the Federal Building Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Furloughed TSA worker Marae Persson shows participates in a federal workers protest rally at the Federal Building Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Furloughed National Park Service ranger Kathryn Gilson, center, listens as fellow furloughed ranger Sean Ghazala, left, speaks to the media, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, during a press conference and rally at Staten Island's La Colmena Center in New York. Ghazala is based at Manhattan's African Burial Ground, and Gilson works at Gateway National Recreation Area, a national park encompassing wetlands surrounding New York city and parts of New Jersey's coastline. Gilson says she is home "bouncing off the walls" and worrying about paying her bills and student loan. Staten Island is a largely Republican borough of New York city, but Democrat Max Rose recently defeated his Republican opponent in the 2018 congressional elections. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
People rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Union members and other federal employees protest the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Union members protest the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Union members and other federal employees stop in front of the White House in Washington during a rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. . (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
A demonstrator holds a 'Stop The Shutdown' sign during a rally with union members and federal employees to end the partial government shutdown outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. The partial government shutdown entered its 20th day today as its impact is more widely felt with about 800,000 federal workers who will miss their paychecks on Friday. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Union workers demonstrate in front of the White House against the government shutdown on January 10, 2019, in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump headed Thursday to the US-Mexico border to push his demand for a wall, a day after he walked out of negotiations with Democrats in a political crisis paralyzing the government. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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