Washington – Over the past few days, the political gridlock that’s led to the longest government shutdown in US history has devolved into a tit-for-tat between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Pelosi all but disinvited Trump from giving the State of the Union address in the House chamber, initially citing security concerns and suggesting the President wait until the shutdown was over.
On Thursday, Trump hit back and canceled Pelosi’s undisclosed plan to visit US troops in Afghanistan along with a congressional delegation, effectively blowing the cover for what is normally a secret trip. Here’s a look at the factors surrounding Trump’s move to keep Pelosi and other lawmakers from using military transport during the shutdown.
Does this have anything to do with the shutdown?
Not directly. The Department of Defense has been fully funded since September and the trip would not necessarily require furloughed employees affected by the shutdown to come along. In his letter, Trump argued that the trip would prevent Pelosi from entering negotiations to end the shutdown. (It should be noted that the President visited Iraq in late December during the shutdown.)