President Donald Trump's abrupt cancellation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) trip to Afghanistan, Egypt, and Belgium prevented Pelosi from visiting troops and meeting with key NATO allies, a senior Pelosi aide said Thursday.
Trump yanked Pelosi's access to a military transport shortly before she was scheduled to depart in retaliation to Pelosi disinviting Trump from delivering the State of the Union amid the ongoing government shutdown.
Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, explained on Twitter the disruptions caused by Trump's schoolyard power play.
"The CODEL to Afghanistan included a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest," wrote Hammill. "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."
Recent reports indicate that Trump has privately discussed pulling the United States out of NATO, a move which would delight Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines," he said.
The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedi… https://t.co/MENXjZPsyu— Drew Hammill (@Drew Hammill)1547756994.0
Hammill knocked Trump for blocking Pelosi access to military aircraft, noting that Trump flew to Iraq with a Congressional delegation the day after Christmas four days into the president's third shutdown, now the longest in history.
The President traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL led by Rep. Zeldin. (4/4)— Drew Hammill (@Drew Hammill)1547756994.0
One veterans' non-profit tore into the president for playing politics with their well-being.
“Clearly," tweeted Jon Soltz, chairman of Vote Vets, "Trump is afraid that Pelosi shows she’s smarter and tougher than he is, every day, and he is jealous. But taking his frustrations out on our troops is wrong.”
“Clearly, @realDonaldTrump is afraid that @SpeakerPelosi shows she’s smarter and tougher than he is, every day, and… https://t.co/Jk1HjpFUUa— VoteVets (@VoteVets)1547758124.0
Soltz's frustration with Trump was far from unique.
@votevets @realDonaldTrump @SpeakerPelosi @jonsoltz HE is what's WRONG in this country.— jim mcgregor (@jim mcgregor)1547758221.0
@votevets @funder @SpeakerPelosi @jonsoltz Cadet Bone Spurs couldn't mess his hair to honor our fallen at Arlington… https://t.co/Wejrvy2uXU— Renee Shatanoff (@Renee Shatanoff)1547764076.0
@votevets @realDonaldTrump @SpeakerPelosi @jonsoltz That’s because you can’t BUY CLASS! #demofor2020— Peppermint P🙏🏼✝️☮️💍👙☀️🍊 (@Peppermint P🙏🏼✝️☮️💍👙☀️🍊)1547760477.0
@votevets @realDonaldTrump @SpeakerPelosi @jonsoltz Elected representatives are being prevented from visiting with… https://t.co/I8oWhNQKfS— Jack H (@Jack H)1547760167.0
@votevets @realDonaldTrump @SpeakerPelosi @jonsoltz But...but.... He "loves" the troops 🙄— 🌊 Just JUDY 🌊 (@🌊 Just JUDY 🌊)1547758638.0
Trump's shutdown, which he promised to own, is taking a toll on people's patience.
Ideas were shared about how to get Trump to end the shutdown.
@Drew_Hammill Take away funds for cable in the White House. That will break Trump.— Rose DiValerio (@Rose DiValerio)1547757239.0
@TheRealRoseDiV @Drew_Hammill Make sure the WiFi is gone also!— seepattiknit 🧶🌈 (@seepattiknit 🧶🌈)1547757386.0
Though some are concerned about Trump's true objectives, as evidenced by his letter to Pelosi and infatuation with Putin.
@Drew_Hammill He's sabotaging NATO.— Elena Karpova Pennoyer (@Elena Karpova Pennoyer)1547758195.0
@Drew_Hammill Ah, now it becomes clear! Perosi's trip was cancelled because it included reaffirming America's comm… https://t.co/kGQifFAUds— Doreen Mocha (@Doreen Mocha)1547775878.0
@Drew_Hammill @POTUS is a clear danger & there is evidence of his inability to abide by the laws or our constitutio… https://t.co/PfVmfJd7OZ— therealginalynn (@therealginalynn)1547760901.0
@Drew_Hammill Could @potus be doing this to put a crank in NATO relations?— Rockabetty (@Rockabetty)1547757470.0
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), Pelosi's Democratic counterpart in the upper chamber, stood by Pelosi's suggestion the State of the Union be delayed. "The state of our union is that the government is closed," Schumer said.
Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), meanwhile, has been refusing to allow the Senate to vote on bipartisan bills passed by the House that would reopen the government.
On Wednesday, Trump reportedly complained to Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney that he feels he is "getting crushed" by the symphony of negative media coverage of the shutdown.
None of this is normal.