Trump Cancels Pelosi's Trip To Afghanistan As Payback For State Of The Union Letter

news

President Donald Trump hit back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday with a letter saying he was "sorry to inform" her that her trip to Brussels, Belgium and Afghanistan would be canceled due to the government shutdown, just one day after Pelosi proposed cancelling the State of the Union address for similar reasons.


"We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over," Trump wrote. "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."

Security concerns amid the government shutdown, currently in its 27th day, were cited as the reason for Pelosi's call to delay the president's address, which was scheduled for Jan. 29. Pelosi was supposed to depart on her trip on military aircraft at 3 p.m., according to Axios, about 30 minutes before Trump sent her the letter — which is dripping with sarcasm.

"Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative," Trump wrote.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said in a statement that the congressional delegation was scheduled to meet in Brussels with NATO officials, U.S. military leaders, and allies to affirm the United States "ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance," before heading to Afghanistan.

"The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication, and to obtain critical national security and intelligence briefings from those on the front lines," Hammill continued. "The President traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL led by Rep. Zeldin."

Meanwhile, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) released a statement which amounted to, hey grow up, both of you, will ya?

"One sophomoric response does not deserve another," Graham said, according to Axios. "Speaker Pelosi's threat to cancel the State of the Union is very irresponsible and blatantly political. President Trump denying Speaker Pelosi military travel to visit our troops in Afghanistan, our allies in Egypt and NATO is also inappropriate."

You can read the full letter from Trump below:



The White House

(National Archives / Marine Corps Photo / WO Obie Newcomb, Jr., November 1943)

The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.

The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.

Read More
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Daniel Snider)

Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.

During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.

Read More

MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.

Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.

State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.

North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.

Read More
Screenshot of a propaganda video featuring former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.

Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.

The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."

Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.

Read More
A member of the Taliban holds a flag in Kabul, Afghanistan June 16, 2018. The writing on the flag reads: 'There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail)

The 7-day "reduction in violence" negotiated between the United States and the Taliban is set to begin on Feb. 22, an Afghan government official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Task & Purpose on Monday.

A temporary truce beginning on Saturday that would last for one week is seen as a crucial test between the Taliban, U.S., and Afghan governments that would prove all parties to a potential peace deal can control their forces. Defense Secretary Mark Esper declined to confirm the date on Sunday.

"That is a moving date because we are still doing consultations, if you will," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters.

Read More