WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump forced the cancellation Thursday of a trip to Afghanistan by his Democratic opponent Nancy Pelosi, and scrapped administration officials’ travel to the Davos forum as a government shutdown plunged Washington deeper into deadlock, reports AFP.
The mess in the US capital already verged on the surreal as Congress feuds with the White House over how to end an impasse now in its fourth week, with thousands of federal workers left unpaid.But now it is also getting increasingly personal between the two main antagonists.
In a letter laced with sarcasm, Trump told House Speaker Pelosi: “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.”
“I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is appropriate,” he wrote.
And in a move that appeared aimed at heading off Democratic criticism about non-essential administration travel during the shutdown, the White House announced the cancellation of a trip to the World Economic Forum by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others “out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay.”
Pelosi and her delegation had planned a non-publicized trip to Afghanistan—an active war zone—and were due to travel aboard a US Air Force plane. Her office said Egypt was not on the itinerary.
According to a congressional aide, several lawmakers were already loaded onto buses preparing to leave the US Capitol Thursday when Trump pulled the plug.Rubbing it in, Trump said that Pelosi could still book her own non-government flights.
“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” he wrote.
The cancellation followed Pelosi’s suggestion that Trump postpone his January 29 State of the Union address to Congress, or do it from the White House instead.