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.
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.
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.”
Soltz’s frustration with Trump was far from unique.
Trump’s shutdown, which he promised to own, is taking a toll on people’s patience.
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